Monday, December 12, 2005

H-SOC it to Walmart

For this holiday season, I tend to think about the Macabees, a small, fired up band of people ready to do what they had to do bring about victory. And when I think about a small, slightly crazed group of (ahem) crusaders who do incredible things, i think of the NLC.

The National Labor Committee (amazing anti-sweatshop activists and former employers of mine) have been taking the fight to the biggest, richest, worst violators of human rights for years. In the past, Disney, Kathie Lee, the NBA, Sean John and others are just a small sample of the many companies they've gone after. Now, this holiday season, they go after the biggest, ugliest smiley face on the planet.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Wal-mart has been trying to bring its union busting, small shop destroying, community devastating ways to New York City. So far, we have resisted. But figuring that having a base of operations here was better than monitoring the situation from Arkansas, they set up shop here. Further, because they know how unpopular they are, this shop is secret. Well, was secret. Peep this:

Holiday Season of Conscience Targets Wal-Mart
This year's Holiday Season of Conscience Candlelight March will expose Wal-Mart's Hidden New York office.
Thursday, December 15
5:00 p.m.
31st Street and 5th Avenue
New York City
For more information, call 212-242-3002

Wal-Mart snuck into New York City setting up a nameless office and using an unlisted number. Wal-Mart wanted to hide their office, just as they hide tens of thousands of sweatshop factories across the developing world, refusing to release to the American people even the names or locations of their plants. It is easier to exploit teenage girls who are locked behind barbed wire in hidden factories.

The NLC is exposing Wal-Mart's secret office which is located at 310 5th Avenue at 31st Street.Please join us for the 9th Annual Holiday Season of Conscience Candlelight March.Let's tell Wal-Mart that we don't want them in New York. We are not interested in bargains based on the exploitation of teenagers across the developing world who are paid just pennies an hour and forced to work grueling shifts seven days a week.It is amazing that if Wal-Mart would pay just 20 cents more per garment to the young women sewing their clothing across the developing world, this would allow tens of millions of women and their families to climb out of misery and into poverty. Surely Wal-Mart could afford this given their $10.5 billion in profit last year, with CEO Lee Scott paying himself $335,000 a week and the five Walton family members now worth $80 billion. This would be the moral thing to do.It is amazing that 46 percent of Wal-Mart employees' children either lack health insurance or are covered under taxpayer-funded Medicaid for the poor.

Remember during this holiday season that even Scrooge became human, and we should not give up hope that Wal-Mart too will one day find its conscience and allow true moral values shape their business plan. BUT FIRST, WAL-MART MUST HEAR US LOUD AND CLEAR. From Wal-Mart's office on 31st Street, we will walk up 5th Avenue to 34th Street, and then to Herald Square for a short rally. The streets will be crowded and it will be a great time to alert people to the truth of Wal-Mart's leading role in slashing wages and benefits and rolling back respect for human and women's rights across the world.As in the tradition of the Holiday Season of Conscience, this candlelight march will be fun, peaceful and orderly. Santa Claus is coming. There will be a giant anti-Wal-Mart banner and tons of hand-painted posters. There will be drummers and other music.Please join us!We need help. We need musicians to form an anti-Wal-Mart marching band. We need folks who can make posters and help with the logistics, including marshals for the march.Call/E-mail usNational Labor CommitteeTel: 212-242-3002E-mIl:


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