Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Portland Tosses WalMart Under the Bus!

In a startling move to recognize that some businesses are not the right mix for the American Way of Life, Steve Novick, a Portland Oregon City Council member, announced last week (May 15th), the city of Portland will dump $9 million, or 25 percent, of its investments in Walmart.

This marks the beginning of a divestment program that will purge Portland's investment portfolio of $36 million in Walmart bonds by 2016.

The divestment plan is part of the city's responsible investment initiative, introduced by City Commissioner Steve Novik, and adopted in October 2013.

The initiative also prohibits the city from purchasing Walmart bonds in the future.

In his announcement, the all too familiar dirty laundry about the Wal-Mart business model, that exploits employees, while the Walton Family have more money than the average American can wrap their heads around.

Even as this news was surging through the Portland-Vancouver Metro Area, a buddy I worked with for several years at SEH  in Vancouver emailed me that his wife Tess, who has been hard core unemployed for some time, just landed a job at a newly erected Wal-Mart in Battle Ground Washington. Jim wrote:

"Next I have to confess the shame I feel as, because of our financial situation Tess is now working for Walmart. A new Walmart store has been built in Battle Ground and is set to open May 21.

" Tess said that Walmart gives a ten percent discount for employees. Sound good right? But that is only for the perishable items.

"Tess has worked for about four weeks now, 8 hrs days, to set up the store.

"This week she goes to her shift Saturday and Sunday and that is it! ALL employees are reduced to part-time, two days a week. No one except the Stupidvisor get benefits!

"Tess tell me that all the Filipinos she works with wants to quit, Tess wants to quit. One Filipino who  was a teacher in the Philippines for 20 years said, that she has never been so humiliated in her life, as to working at Walmart.

"When I read the article in the Reflector, the part were the manager said, "It so nice to be able to save the people in Battle Ground some money, so they can live a better life" just about made me gag."

I've railed for years about the inequality of the Wal-Mart business model, as their profits sky rocket year by year. In one discussion program I viewed today, the point was made that because Wal-Mart pays crumbs for pay and "games" their employees, like Tess, putting them on reduced hours, their employees actually have to supplement their lives with food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized rent.

Who picks up the tag for all those supplements?

We do!  It translates into more than $5,000 per year per TAX PAYER.

Would Wal-Mart’s prices spike if the paid their employees more?    

Watch this video to find out.

The time to "level wealth with honesty" is upon us.

Actually, leveling wealth with honesty is upon us.  The Costco Business Model has been with us for many years.  The plan places workers ahead of profits, whilst achieveing profit.

I urge you to read the Costco business model, and draw your attention to page 9 "Compensation & Workforce Practices."

It clearly demonstrates that paying folk a living wage, employees take pride in work, have less stress in dealing with health care and benefits, and high moral results in minimum turnover.  Treat people like human beings; not machines.

Look at the difference in CEO benefits. Benefits paid to Wal-Mart CEO is morally obscene when you consider the part-timer employees struggling to exist. Costco's Craig Jelinek makes a low salary by Fortune 500 CEO standard, about $650,000. While that compensation is hefty, Walmart CEO Mike Duke earned $18.1 million last year.

Who the frick is worth USD$8,653/hour?  That is the very definition of obscenity.

I am hoping that other municipalities who have investments in the repressive Wal-Mart business model, take notice of what Portland is doing and follow their lead.

Bring Goliath down!

1 Comments - Click here:

Jean said...

Totally sick is the right word, but remember that there is no wal-mart store in the new Jerusalem, and also no lining their pockets as greed is non existent.

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