Friday, January 13, 2006

Workers 1 - Walmart 0

The state of Maryland just overrode their governor's veto to force WalMart to pay more health benefits! This is great news for low income workers and could help get the ball rolling to providing better health care for all workers. Wal-Mart is not pleased. They say that it's nothing but partisan politics involving the gubernatorial race. If that's the case, I still can't find a problem with that. What could better illustrate the true republican colors of being more concerned with the corporate bottom line than with the needs of the workforce? Between this and the recent documentary, Wal-Mart is feeling the heat. They've hired themselves a "right wing hit squad" to defend them against these big bad attacks, and their CEO has sent out a memo full of union-bashing goodness. Could the tide finally be turning for corporations getting away with artificially inflating their stock value at the expense of the workers? I certainly hope so.


Blogger James said...

So government has the power to tell any business, what they have to spend their profits on? Wow... that's almost... communistic.

I could care less what the motives are behind the ruling, state government has no business declaring a use for profits unless someone is actually breaking a law in the first place. Last time I checked there IS no law demanding health care coverage for workers, therefore Wal-Mart is within their rights to NOT use that money in that way as it is THIER money, not Maryland's, to use.

Call me what you will, but government reaching into anyone's pocketbooks and spending as they see fit, is not only wromg, IT should be illegal.

1/14/2006 12:55:00 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

Yeah. What James said.

"When you give the government the power to give you everything you want, you're also giving it the power to take it all away."- Barry Goldwater

1/14/2006 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

Wal-Mart Responds to Maryland Vote

January 12, 2006

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The following was
released today by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT - News):
"We believe that everyone should have access to affordable health insurance.
This legislation does nothing to accomplish that goal.

"There are 786,000 uninsured people in the state of Maryland and less than
one-half of one percent work for Wal-Mart. Clearly, the legislators who
voted for this bill have let down hundreds of thousands of Marylanders in

"More than three-fourths of Wal-Mart associates have health insurance. And
every Wal-Mart associate in Maryland -- both full-time and part-time -- can
become eligible for health coverage that costs as little as $23 per month.

"This vote was never about health care. This was about partisan politics in
the Maryland gubernatorial race. In allowing a bad bill to become a bad law,
the General Assembly took a giant step backward and placed the special
interests of Washington, D.C. union leaders ahead of the well-being of the
people they serve. And that's wrong.

"The American people know that catering to the special interests does
nothing to help the 46 million uninsured individuals in this country. Now is
the time for legislators across the country to work together to find real
solutions to the health care challenges facing every state, every business
and every working family.

"It's time for Washington, D.C. union leaders to stop their attacks, and let
working families decide where to shop and work," Sarah Clark, Wal-Mart

About Wal-Mart Stores

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood
Markets and SAM'S CLUB locations in the United States. The company also
operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador,
Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South
Korea and the United Kingdom. The company's securities are listed on the New
York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information
about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting . Online
merchandise sales are available at .

Quick Facts about Wal-Mart Health Care

* More than three-fourths of Wal-Mart associates nationwide have health
insurance -- either through a company plan, a spouse's plan or

* Unlike the employees of many of our retail competitors, every
associate -- both full-time and part-time -- can become eligible for
health coverage.

* Anywhere in the country, including Maryland, every eligible associate
has access to individual coverage for no more than $23 per month and
50 cents more per day for children. Family coverage starts at
$65 per month.

* In some markets across the nation, individual health coverage is
available through a new Value Plan for as low as $11 per month and
30 cents more per day for children.

* A 2004 survey of hourly associates showed that 30% had no health
coverage before coming to work for Wal-Mart.

* After one year, there's no lifetime maximum on health care expenses
any Wal-Mart plan in Maryland or anywhere in America, which protects
associates and their families from catastrophic financial loss.

1/14/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Liberal Traitor said...

Fred, of course Wal-Mart is going to respond like that. They've been in permanent damage control mode for quite some time now. They could care less about their workers having access to health care. They just want to sqeeze every penny they can. It makes me downright angry to see you guys more concerned with the rights of a corporation to make more and more profits at the direct expense of their workers. I suppose you think the magical markets will somehow give workers affordable healthcare? Yeah, that'll happen.

1/15/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

I'd hardly call any profits made to be at the expense of their workers. They offer their workers more in benefits than a lot of companies do.

1/15/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Liberal Traitor said...

Fred, you're joking, right? This is a company that goes out of its way to hire a majority of part timers so as not to give benefits, then turns around and offers their employees literaturs on how they can get on medicaid. Great corporate citizen, that Walmart! Please continue attempting to defend them. I could use the laugh. Let's hear about how racing to the bottom of labor costs is a triumph of capitalism. Trust me when I say that there's not a damn thing you're going to tell me that will change the fact that WalMart has some of the worst labor practices in this country and as such a large employer that sets a very dangerous precedent for all American workers. They need to be a better corporate citizen or they need to be taken down hard and that's really the end of the story as far as I'm concerned.

1/15/2006 07:31:00 PM  

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