More on Wal-Mart

By June 1, 2005General

So much has been written about Wal-Mart, and they have certainly endured their share of problems of late. However, nearly every story that you read is traceable to the campaign that’s been waged by organized labor against them these past many years, even before the UFCW hired the Not Ready For Prime Time Players noted below. The allegations of sexual harassment, overtime violations, immigration violations and discrimination have their roots in the “corporate campaign” being waged by labor against them. Organized labor is very tactical, very strategic and very good. They have also found common ground with the anti-sprawl groups here and there, not like they needed it. You’ll often note that it’s the labor beat reporters who do the Wal-Mart stories, as with Amy Joyce’s story noted below and with perennial Wal-Mart basher Steve Greenhouse of the NY Times.

We’d just caution everyone to take these stories with a grain of salt. Does Wal-Mart have people working overtime and not being paid for it? No doubt they do — they have almost a million and a half employees — they probably even have a few with six toes! In short, in a population of a million and a half, they have one of every kind imaginable, including a few people who probably aren’t working nearly enough. Just a matter of odds in a sample size that large.

Here’s a fun fact that you probably don’t know: Wal-Mart buys goods and services from over 60,000 US suppliers (including many of our members), spending some $150b here in the good ol’ US of A along the way. By comparison, last year they spent about $19b in China.

Facts, as we’ve said in this space before, are stubborn things. We can blame anybody we want, but the big problems are the costs that we put on ourselves. Maybe the Dean-Clark-Kerry cartel can start encouraging the Congress to focus on that.