Activists Go Directly To Wal-Mart Board Members Today

By Elissa Heller, Membership Specialist

Today, I joined Wal-Mart associates, the Making Change at Wal-Mart Campaign, Jobs with Justice, and others from the NOW Action Center in an exciting action. More than fifteen people gathered to request a meeting with Arne Sorenson, President and COO of Marriott International, Inc., and a board member of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Wal-Mart associates and allies were informed that Sorenson was not in the office. So, two Wal-Mart associates were escorted upstairs to hand-deliver the letter. After being redirected back to the lobby while heading upstairs to the executive suite, a security officer promised to deliver it to Sorenson.

Today Wal-Mart associates and community leaders went to the offices of many Wal-Mart board members to ask them to take responsibility for meeting with Wal-Mart associates. NOW leaders attended actions in several of the following cities: Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Wal-Mart associates and members of the Making Change at Wal-Mart Campaign have attempted to meet with Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke multiple times to discuss their demands for better treatment but meetings continue to be refused.

At the 2011 Analyst’s Meeting, Wal-Mart declared that the company would begin a new effort with associates while at the same time drastically cutting their health care plans. Today, the campaign leaders asked board members to ensure that associates receive living wages and benefits and that they are heard. With this latest health care decision, Wal-Mart continues to disregard its associates when it should give them a voice in the company. Wal-Mart has a responsibility to communicate with and work alongside community members in decisions like this. Wal-Mart corporate headquarters and board members need to treat Wal-Mart associates better and listen when there are concerns and complaints.

The Making Change at Wal-Mart Campaign hopes that today’s actions will lead to meetings with Wal-Mart board members. However, should these requested meetings be refused, there will be more pressure applied. NOW chapters will be there. If you would like to be involved in NOW’s efforts within the Making Change at Wal-Mart Campaign, please contact NOW Field Organizer, Anita Lederer, at fieldorg {at} now {dot} org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.