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Blind, Deaf and Dumb; Human Rights Watch Sets Sights on Walmart

August 19, 2008

I came across this article the other week whilst I was perusing the net for inflatable dolls. It made me stop and think “Hmm, isn’t Corporate profit going down a BAD thing? Why are people doing things to ensure lesser retail profit?”:

Wal-Mart also holds the ignominious title of being the only company investigated by Human Rights Watch for its domestic labor practices. The group’s 2007 report labeled Wal-Mart’s union-busting policies a violation of basic human rights, saying:

It pursues its anti-union agenda relentlessly, often from the day a new worker is hired, devoting considerable time and resources at all levels of the company to the anti-union drumbeat.

The constant stream of allegations have damaged Wal-Mart’s reputation and in turn, its profits. In 2007, a Bank of America analyst’ report found that Wal-Mart’s profits had suffered as a result of organized labor’s opposition to the company and its unethical labor practices. The report noted that the union’s campaign “has cost WMT [Wal-Mart] real estate sites in key locations, adversely impacted comp store sales to some degree, and has distracted m management from focusing on its retail strategy. Additionally, Lee Scott now spends a large amount of time improving WMT’s image domestically and abroad, and WMT has been forced to focus advertising dollars on defending their brand.”

The Human Rights Watch report to which they refer is explained here:

NEW YORK—”Wal-Mart’s exploitation of weak U.S. labor laws interferes with workers’ rights to organize and violates the human rights of its employees, according to a report by Human Rights Watch, an independent nongovernment organization.

In a 210-page report released Monday, Human Rights Watch said Wal-Mart uses an arsenal of sophisticated tactics—some of which it says are illegal_ aimed at thwarting union organization and creating a climate of fear for its 1.3 million U.S. workers. The Human Rights Watch study was based on interviews with 41 current and former Wal-Mart workers, managers, labor lawyers and union organizers between 2004 and early 2007.”

So, apparently, one of the most pressing human rights issues today is the evil Walmart. At least according to the Left’s great bastion of moral authority, Human Rights Watch. It must be true; they did interview a whopping 41 current and former employees of Walmart (out of a current 1.3 MILLION) together with the always unbiased union leaders. My local Walmart SuperCenter has more than 41 workers in the grocery section alone, but whatever. I’m no human rights expert.

While I agree that the fluorescent lighting is an affront to women (as are most of their fashion offerings), I tend to think there are more egregious violations out there. The stoning to death of women perhaps? Beheadings? Sharia Law? The lobbing of rockets into Israel? The Iranian Mullahs? Hopeandchange? Al Gore?

No, no. Walmart. Walmart not unionizing is much, much worse. Not only that, but they cloak themselves in a “climate of fear”, for goodness sake. Far, far more insidious and evil. By the by, I thought the fear deal was Bush’s bag? Unless……..Does Karl Rove now work for Walmart and is he wielding his wizard’s wand of fear there?

Even Hillary Clinton is in on the act. During one of the Democrat Primary debates, and I use that term loosely, she said when asked about Walmart:

“as they grew much bigger, though, they have raised serious questions about the responsibility of corporations and how they need to be a leader when it comes to providing health care and having safe working conditions and not discriminating on the basis of sex or race or any other category. Brian, this is all part, though, of how this Administration and corporate America today don’t see middle class and working Americans. They are invisible. They don’t understand that if you’re a family that can’t get health care, you’re really hurting.”

Pardon me while I pick myself up from the floor where I am literally curled into a ball in fits of laughter. That is really amusing coming from a woman who, until recently and then only in order to carpetbag, never lived in a home that wasn’t paid for directly by the public coffers. Who paid for NOTHING on her own, except for, perhaps, her personal fleet of private detectives. The same woman who came up with the almost incomprehensible, totally impractical and roundly rejected HillaryCare health plan. Gee, Hillary, Walmart offers $4 prescription drugs and is now adding affordable Health Clinics to all their SuperCenters. I think they win. (Yes, I do harbor an intense hatred for Hillary Clinton that is almost palpable. And I loathe her pantsuits with an unhealthy passion. They offend me as a woman).

But I digress. I suppose the point of my rambling is that I would just like to know exactly why anyone pays the slightest bit of attention to this group. This is the same group that whined and wrung their hands over Saddam’s trial. It wasn’t “fair”, they complained. Somehow, I think the close to a million people killed in his vicious acts, including mass genocide, would beg to differ. All told, to little old me, this group is as worthless, inept and inane as the United Nations. But that’s another story.

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