Building Wal-Mart's PAC | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Building Wal-Mart's PAC

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 8:55 AM

The Center for Public Integrity, with the help of some archival Wal-Mart video, shows how the company came up with a way to build its PAC, which can't be funded with corporate contributions. Management employees were encouraged to contribute to the PAC by a promise of Wal-Mart Foundation matching money for an in-house charity that pays for critical needs of employees. The Center's link includes video of the felonious Tom Coughlin explaining the "clever" plan to fellow managers.

Wal-Mart Watch (see jump) says the report illustrates whose interests the company holds paramount. Not the little guy, else the PAC wouldn't have been lobbying against legislation to help them. The company charity, meanwhile, reached only a tiny number of company employees.


In response to Wal-Mart PAC videos released by the Center for Public Integrity and featured on Dan Rather Reports on April 22, 2008, David Nassar, Wal-Mart Watch Executive Director released the following statement:
"In the 1990s Wal-Mart experienced tremendous growth. In that environment it was a challenge to live up to Sam Walton’s vision that if you take care of the employees, the company would take care of itself.  These videos demonstrate clearly how Wal-Mart failed to meet that challenge and instead chose to use its political action committee (PAC) to lobby against its workers' interests while it handed out tiny donations designed to improve its image.  
"The videos reveal that the family culture Wal-Mart has promoted for years includes its executives in Bentonville, and may include its store managers around the country, but it certainly does NOT include all of its low-wage employees.  If it did, the company would most certainly not use its PAC money to fight legislation such as the Patient’s Bill of Rights or ergonomic regulations, that are designed to help protect workers like the $8/hour Wal-Mart cashier.
"Using the Associates in Critical Needs Fund as an incentive for PAC contributions is particularly disturbing because last year the fund benefited less than 1% of all of its employees, while 1.3 million workers would have benefited from the Patient’s Bill of Rights, workplace safety requirements and other issues. It is just another example of Wal-Mart’s willingness to use a shiny object to distract us from its unwillingness to do the right thing and make the kind of responsible changes that will benefit its employees, the communities it serves and our country."



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