Quantcast

Wal-Mart Tries to Grow a Pair | The Nation

  •  

Wal-Mart Tries to Grow a Pair

  • Share
  • Decrease text size Increase text size

Wal-Mart is famous for trying to circumvent local zoning regulations, but in Dunkirk, Maryland, the retailer got particularly creative. The small hamlet had a rule against stores larger than 75,000 feet--so the company proposed to build two Wal-Mart stores side by side. Fortunately, this bit of Amelia Bedelia literalism was emphatically rejected by a community outcry, and Wal-Mart backed down last week.

About the Author

Liza Featherstone
Liza Featherstone is a journalist based in New York City. Her work on student and youth activism has been...

Also by the Author

In the latest action against the union-busting low-wage retailer, labor organizers may have finally found a strategy that works.

Ha llegado el momento en que demócratas y progresistas conscientes sigan el ejemplo de Nueva York y tomen distancia de este oscuro seductor.

Meanwhile, also in Maryland, small-time whore Governor Ehrlich has, as expected, vetoed a bill to force Wal-Mart to provide decent health insurance to workers. Wake Up Wal-Mart has a letter you can send him, politely letting him know you think he is a putz (sorry, tell him you're disappointed): www.wakeupwalmart.com/feature/write-to-mdgov.html. More importantly, since Democrats are threatening to override the veto, if you live in Maryland: call, write or visit your state representatives and make sure they do the right thing!

More and more states are considering similar legislation, thanks to a growing and coordinated national movement. A pending Pennsylvania bill would require firms with fifty or more workers to provide data on how many workers depend on public assistance for health care. Other states and localities debating Wal-Mart-inspired measures similar to Maryland's--requiring large companies to ensure workers or contribute to Medicaid-- include New Jersey, Georgia, New York City, California, Montana and Connecticut. To keep abreast of these developments, and take action, sign up for updates at www.americansforhealthcare.org.

If Wal-Mart find these bills irksome, and still doesn't want to provide decent health insurance for its workers, the company should lobby for national health insurance. That's unlikely, of course, but let's hope the political battle over Wal-Mart's benefits at least convinces Americans that our health is too important to be left to the whim of greedy employers.

  • Share
  • Decrease text size Increase text size