Walmart: End Your Double Standard
UPDATE! FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2012
Last June, Walmart made a promise. Last week, they broke it.
Today, they answered for it.
At the annual shareholder meeting this morning, Walmart faced a storm of controversy over the ongoing investigation of CEO Mike Duke and Chairman Rob Walton for their involvement in a reported bribery scandal and high-level executive cover-up of the incident. Despite widespread questions from shareholders and calls for both to resign, the Waltons exercised their control of 49% of shares to vote to keep their own jobs.
The shareholder festivities, which included appearances from Justin Timberlake and Celine Dion, were punctuated by a wave of protests across the country, including a massive parade in downtown Washington, DC, calling for resignations of CEO Mike Duke and Board Chair Rob Walton. Meanwhile, hundreds of tweets saturated Walmart’s twitter feed demanding accountability from Walmart executives.
In the midst of the massive shareholder meeting, Walmart employee Venanzi Luna bravely delivered over 21,000 signatures on our petition calling on Walmart Chair Walton & CEO Duke to resign.
Thank you for standing with workers to end Walmart’s broken promises. Our petition, in conjunction with the wave of protests, online twitter messages, and probing questions from journalists, meant the Waltons could not host their shareholder meeting without confronting corruption charges.
In addition to the shareholder meeting, yesterday Walmart associates went to the company’s Home Office and had “open door” meetings with Human Relations calling on Karen Casey to honor her commitment to not retaliate against workers for organizing, and demanding the reinstatement of unjustly terminated associates. Last June, Karen Casey, Senior Vice President of Labor Relations at Walmart, told a delegation of Walmart associates that Walmart respects its workers’ right to organize. She stated, in no uncertain terms, that Walmart has “a policy that does not tolerate discrimination or retaliation on the basis of associating with each other.” You can watch the full video here.
Meanwhile, last week, Angela Williamson was among several employees that were fired for their participation in the Organization United for Respect at Walmart. Angela’s store manager even went so far as to tell her the reason she was fired was for taking time off to care for her sick grandmother. Check out her video explaining her firing.
Thank you for standing with Walmart associates. Together, we will continue to keep the pressure on Walmart and demand an end to their retaliatory firings and broken promises.
Dear Walmart Board of Directors:
I am deeply troubled that Walmart recently fired two workers and disciplined a third who were speaking out in favor of improved working conditions and better business practices at Walmart. What’s worse, your top executives have been handsomely rewarded with promotions and bonuses, instead of being punished for the reported bribery of public officials and the cover up of the scandal.
Walmart’s own Ethics Statement calls on all employees to “follow the law at all times” and “reveal and report all information truthfully, without manipulation or misrepresentation.” Your actions to punish hard-working Associates and protect executives involved in the bribery scandal and cover-up has exposed a disturbing double standard at Walmart.
This double standard is causing the company to lose the public trust and is dividing our country. We should all play by the same rules – hourly Associates and rich, powerful executives. I call on you to immediately:
1) Demand the resignation of Walmart Chairman S. Robson Walton and CEO Mike Duke due to their role in the bribery and cover up scandal; and,
2) Reinstate the jobs of Angela Williamson and Wessa Milien and discontinue your disciplinary actions toward Carlton Smith. Workers’ fundamental civil right to speak out for better working conditions must be protected.
This petition is no longer active.