In a stunning defeat, Wal-Mart chief executive, H. Lee Scott Jr. told the NY Times that trying to conduct business in New York City was so expensive — and exasperating — that “I don’t think it’s worth the effort.”
This is a major victory for New York City's middle-class, organized labor, innumerable small and medium sized retail stores and all mom-and-pop businesses in the City who would have been driven out of business by the retailing behemoth.
It's clear to Wal-Mart's friends and foes alike that change is needed and long overdue. In 2006 their holiday sales were down, their stock is in its third year of stagnation, and corporate leadership has lost the confidence of shareholders and employees alike.
"Wal-Mart is fighting for its image - and for its financial future... Wal-Mart is an embattled company and is fighting wars on all sides" - Business Week, Jan. 9, 2007
"Bad years do happen to good companies. But for Wal-Mart, 2006 was just another downer in period of decline that's lasted seven years... Wall Street is starting to lose patience" - Fortune Magazine, Jan., 2007
Wal-Mart is bad for America, it has partnered itself with the Chinese Peoples' Liberation Army. The Red Chinese are America's largest potential economic and military opposition.
Of Wal-Mart's more than 6,000 global suppliers, experts estimate that as many as 80 percent are based in People's Republic of China. Today, Wal-mart uses over 3,000 Chinese factories to produce its cheap merchandise, this is almost as many stores as it has in America. Their fashion designs called, "New Order," are made in factories owned by the PLA, the Chinese Peoples' Liberation Army. Many of which are produced with slave labor. Wal-Mart estimates it imports $15 billion of Chinese goods every year and concedes that the figure could be higher - some estimates range as high as $20 or $30 billion.
Wal-Mart faces the nation's largest class-action lawsuit from 1.6 million current and former female Wal-Mart employees for gender discrimination. The charges against Wal-Mart are severe - but not surprising. They claim that Wal-Mart: (1) Advances male employees more quickly than female employees; (2) Denies female employees equal job assignments, promotions, training and compensation; and (3) Retaliates against those who oppose Wal-Mart's unlawful practices.
This case only confirms what many have known for years: Wal-Mart must fundamentally change the way it treats its employees, and set an example for labor practices worldwide. The facts remain that women comprise only 37.6 % of Assistant Managers, 21.9% of Co-Managers, and 15.5% of Store Manager positions at Wal-Mart.
About 65% of hourly employees are women, compared to about 33% of management employees. And, from date of hire until being promoted into an Assistant Manager position it took on average 4.38 years for women, compared to 2.86 years for men. To reach Store Manager, the average male needed 8.64 years compared to 10.12 years for a female.
Despite their advertising campaign meant to misinform the American consumer to Shop American, more than 75% of their products are foreign made, making them one of the largest contributors to Americas outsourcing of good paying union jobs. Their management vehemently opposes unionization of their stores.
Wal-Mart leads the list of companies with the most employees and dependents in taxpayer-funded health care programs. In California, Wal-mart cost the state an estimated $86 million dollars in health benefits.
Wal-Mart sales clerks made an average of $8.23 an houror $13,861 a year in 2001. That's nearly $800 below the federal poverty line for a family of three.
Be very aware, that every new Wal-mart store creates a ripple effect, family businesses close up shop, factories shut down, communities get squeezed, and fulfilling careers are turned into nightmare chores.
Meanwhile, taxpayers are footing the bill for the health care of thousands of Wal-Mart's employees, while the company receives exorbitant tax breaks - as they tried here - from the very same communities Wal-Mart will eventually use and then discard.
They are blatantly anti-family and anti-American. Wal-Mart stores and parking lots already occupy roughly 75,000 acres in the U.S. -- and the company plans to nearly double its footprint over the next 10 years.
I want to applaud Wal-Mart's decision not to try to conquer New York City. It takes a real man to swallow such an ignoble defeat so gracefully.
Therefore, I couldn't agree more with Mr. Scott of Wal-Mart's when he told the Times, “I don’t care if we are ever” in New York City, and neither do I.