Ocean Hermit – sailing, solitude and stories

My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.

Walmart – today’s unrepentant Scrooge

scroogePoor Ebenezer Scrooge. He comes in for a lot of abuse as stingy, misery and a misanthrope – even though he repented and mended his ways after the visits from the three ghosts.  He became a happier person and his business did not collapse once he started paying his employee Bob Cratchit decently and started using his wealth to truly benefit himself and society.

walmartNot so Walmart, whose executives must qualify as today’s unrepentant Scrooges. Two stories about the corporation recently caught my eye and made me sick.

Walmart Sets Up Food Bank for their OWN EMPLOYEES

1) Before American Thanksgiving, Walmart in Ohio asked customers to donate food for their own staff.  This from a corporation that made $15,700,000,000 in 2012.  Maybe Walmart could have shown a little thanksgiving itself for the work of its own staff by giving them each a voucher for a turkey.

The Good Samaritan was Not Legally Obligated

2) Walmart have declined to contribute to a fund to help families of the 112 workers who died on November 24th in another factory fire in Bangladesh. Walmart (and Sears) said they were not legally obligated. I’m quite sure they are not (no doubt all contracts and corporate structures are formulated to avoid legal responsibility as well as taxes!).bangla

But this not about legality. Walmart (and Sears) made money from selling clothes made by people who died tragically in a fire. In a country with no social safety net, it seems reasonable that they would therefore show some compassion and want to help the families of the people from whom they were directly benefitting.

Apparently not. Please remember this next time you feel drawn to the big blue box. Personally, I’m done. Walmart executives (people run these corporations, not machines) are unlikely to change their policies. But I can change my shopping.

(Even though, with the triumph of the big box stores throughout North America and here in Midland, Ontario, it’s sometimes difficult to buy products any where else in this small town; probably half the stores downtown are empty.

Bloomberg story  HERE


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This entry was posted on December 2, 2013 by in Current Affairs, In Case You Missed It.
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