Wal-Mart is bad growth for Juneau

Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2007

On Sept. 12, with its grand opening, we will have grown a "Mal-Wart." Here's a few reasons for this statement:

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1. Wal-Mart fails to provide health care to over half its 1.3 billion workers and families, and nearly one out of two children of Wal-Mart workers are uninsured or on public health care. This company costs taxpayers as much as $1.4 billion dollars a year, and is projected to cost $9.1 billion over the next five years because of these things alone.

2. More than 2 million women are suing Wal-Mart for gender discrimination. This is the largest discrimination lawsuit in U.S. history.

3. Wal-Mart often pays poverty-level wages, with many of its workers relying on public assistance and they admit that their jobs aren't meant to support a family.

4. In March of 2005 Wal-Mart agreed to pay $11 million to settle federal allegations that it used undocumented workers to clean its stores. Many of them working seven days or nights a week without overtime pay, and those working nights were often locked in the store until morning.

5. Studies in Iowa have shown that towns lose up to 47 percent of their retail trade after 10 years of a Wal-Mart store opening. Another recent study concluded that when Wal-Mart moves in wages decline by 5 percent for all workers, not just retail trade.

6. At the new Juneau Wal-Mart, on the second day of a friend's employment there, employees had to attend an indoctrination meeting for nearly four hours and were made to watch anti-union movies. They were asked if any of them were union members. My friend quit due to the propagandizing.

These are a few things that this company does to communities, our country and workers. When they open their doors here, all are free to shop there, but you'll not see me in their store. I cannot enter their doors knowing the social ills they bring, while profiting immensely from their operations nationally and internationally. I recommend to anyone thinking about shopping there that they first view the documentary movie "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," or visit the Wake Up Wal-Mart Web site and if your mind is not changed, then have a nice day in your race to the bottom. For anyone wondering, I too like Gabriella Hebert, wrote this myself.

Mike Notar

Juneau



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