Pension fund dumps Wal-Mart over labor issues
A $183 billion group is halting its investments, saying the retailer wouldn't discuss its concerns about workers.
Wal-Mart's (WMT) labor policies have earned it both haters and fans. Critics decry the retail giant's low wages and resistance to worker unions, while supporters praise it for employing so many people who might otherwise be jobless.
Now a $183 billion pension fund is joining the haters. Dutch pension fund PGGM says Wal-Mart is on its exclusion list because the retailer "was not prepared to take PGGM's concerns about the company's tense labor relations in its domestic market into consideration."
It added that a second motivation for the decision was that Wal-Mart's board "was not willing to participate in fruitful dialogues with its shareholders." Those positions are leading PGGM to sell the roughly $260 million in Wal-Mart shares it had held for clients, Bloomberg adds.
Chief among its complaints is Wal-Mart's resistance to unions, which the fund said is "contrary to fundamental principles and rights at work." It also said it didn't get a response to inquiries about Wal-Mart's bribery allegations in Mexico.
Many consumers love Wal-Mart for its low prices, but some critics point out that those bargains have a steep cost. Workers are often pushed to accept public aid, including food stamps, because they don't earn enough on their meager wages, according to a June report from congressional Democrats.
A single Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Wisconsin may require taxpayers to pay as much as $1.7 million per year in aid, the report said.
As Bloomberg Businesweek noted, Wal-Mart has a long history of resisting unionization, stemming as far back as 1970, when an attorney hired by founder Sam Walton called the unions blood-sucking parasites.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
I would say WalMart is a blood sucking parasite on every community that has one. It ruins jobs, small business, and lowers the incomes of everyone in the community. They sell crap for ridiculous prices and people eat it up. They have most of Congress on a leash, to make sure they can keep on with their practice of paying people as little as possible. While Walton's and their executive staff are making a ton of money. They would not have to raise prices to grant their workers a better wage, they would just have to learn to live on a few billion less a year.
MIRAGE GUY;You sure hate the common man.You seem to think there`s a commi
under every rock.People like you that hate unions should try to live on $3 an hour.
How many cars and houses would get sold in the this country if everybody made
those crap wages?You idiots never thought that out.
what is with all the anti-union rants today? The answer is simple, people ask for unionization when working conditions are unsafe, when people are not paid a living wage, or when there are other SERIOUS issues, not just for kicks. Meet your employees needs and unions are not needed, that's the reason not all jobs in the us NEED unions. Ask anyone that belongs to one, they are a pain, but in some cases they are still the best option. I live in a small town and 10 years ago it was the WORKERS at walmart that were saying please, we really don't want a union. Now things have changed, insurance became crap, wages have actually DROPPED, and I don't just mean adjusted for inflation, I mean starting wage has dropped, raises are at smaller percentages, now it's the employees that want a union, because conditions have detereated that much. The store manager quit because he wouldn't be apart of things. No, unions aren't' the problem, just a symptom. Greed and disregard are the issues.
This thinking, pretty standard in Europe -which has raised its avg. income from 62% to 81% of the USA since Reagan sent us on the more-for-the-top-1% road. It used to be standard thinking in the USA until the "Boss Hogg" southern-attitude that the plutocracy knows best has infected much of the country.
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