Wednesday, July 20, 2011

SEIU Blasts White House Walmart Partnership

"It’s time to hold America’s largest employer to a higher standard..."
UPDATE, July 21: A full post about the event is here.
SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry today issued the following statement today, in response to First Lady Michelle Obama's announcement that Walmart, as well as other grocery market chains, have partnered with the White House in a new commitment to eliminate food deserts. Walmart is not a union employer, and today committed to building 275-300 stores in communities across the US by 2016, which it says will serve about 800,000 people, as well as create thousands of jobs. Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO and Joseph T. Hansen, President, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, also put out a joint statement today blasting the White House for the partnership.

Henry's statement:

“As the nation’s largest union of healthcare workers and as educators, child care providers, and social workers, we see the consequences every day of our failure to confront our country’s childhood obesity crisis and provide quality food, health, and education services in underserved areas.

“It’s vital that leaders like First Lady Michelle Obama continue to shine a light on this crisis and that we recognize responsible retailers like Safeway that step up their efforts to expand in underserved areas like they’ve done in neighborhoods in Los Angeles and Oakland. Safeway is not only bringing quality food into neighborhoods long abandoned by other grocery chains, they are also creating quality jobs in these communities.

"But we cannot ignore the reality that Wal-Mart is America’s chief corporate poverty creator. And that they are linking arms not with America's workers to create good jobs but with right-wing politicians pushing job-killing policies and massive tax breaks for CEOs and millionaires. As our country’s largest employer, Wal-Mart's corporate model of low wages and no benefits leaves millions of their workers unable to purchase healthy food or provide a good life for their families. And when Wal-Mart opens in a community, it can actually drive out good jobs and responsible employers.

“Wal-Mart should not be celebrated for false contributions to our communities and glitzy public relations campaigns that disguise their destructive policies. It’s time to hold America’s largest employer to a higher standard and demand that they produce quality jobs and do their part to increase opportunity and prosperity in our communities.”


The transcript of Mrs. Obama's remarks is here.

No comments:

Post a Comment