Thursday, June 02, 2005

Wal-Mart, the Klan, and Community Benefits Agreements

The standard approach to Wal-Mart is "Let's negotiate a community benefit agreement/CBA to guarantee jobs for our specific local community, or support for another one of our local program," or let's organize the workers into a union. Everyone knows they are bad guys...but what are we going to do about it?

Wal-Mart has a business plan that is based on predatory Low Road practices that will leave the community worse off after a number of years than it was when Wal-Mart entered. That has been proven again and again, and presented in publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Business Week.

To negotiate a settlement with Wal-Mart that doesn't include changing their business plan to bring it within reach of acceptable business practices needs to be seen as similar to negotiating with the Klan. Yes, you can get some benefits for some of your constituency, yet it's at the expense of the local and regional economy. A negotiated settlement for a few is the cost of doing business that destroys the many from Wal-Mart's perspective..

The social movement needs to set higher standards....a good idea if it really wants to be something more than marginal....

We should launch our own large scale cooperatives owned by employees and consumers that can compete with Wal-Mart on cost and variety of goods, and build the local community rather than destroy it... This has been done in Spain, in Italy, in Canada. It can be done here.

Don't you think it's time we did something bigger that was really inspirational rather than groveling for a few crumbs?

Check out for more detail.