Wal-Mart Saves the World

I’ve never been a big fan of Wal-Mart. I used to have one on my route. I made friends with the back door girls, I got an inside picture of what Wal-Mart is like to work for. I saw one of my friends get injured one day and not report it because their “bonuses” were only awarded if they had no reported workman’s comp injuries. Not only would you lose your own bonus if you reported an injury, but the whole store lost its bonuses. That’s a lot of pressure to not report an injury.

Occasionally I would mention the Union as we unloaded my truck, and I soon learned that Union was a four letter word. It was amazing to hear what their management told the workers about unions. Most of it was outright lies. But effective lies. My associates felt they knew unions and they would never let that kind of scum come into Wal-Mart. Of course they were insanely jealous of my wages and benefits but couldn’t see the difference between a good union job and a lousy non-union job.

Now comes this bit of information from CommonDreams.com. I offer it as another example of why I still refuse to shop at Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart is, apparently, hankering to launch a big initiative to stamp every product it sells with an eco-friendly rating label, some sort of grand, awareness-raising system to inform all Earth-conscious Wal-Mart customers — I know, I know: oxymoron — where every product falls on the you-are-destroying-the-planet scale. It’s a rather wonderful idea that could radically transform the company’s entire supply chain for the better.

Except for one thing: Wal-Mart has no plans to slap a giant label on its own bloated megastores themselves, no plans to reveal the enormous waste and destruction Wal-Mart itself embodies merely by existing, by shipping a million products over from sweatshops in China and Malaysia and India. Nor does it plan to offer a Smiley-Face Local Economy Decimation rating to all those countless small towns it’s swooped into and gutted. But hey! That giant tub of HFCS-blasted caramel corn? Not all that bad for the planet. Yay!