Monday, April 25, 2005

Memo To All Staff: Company Headquarters To Relocate To Mordor

Let's take a little trip down to the heart of Dixie to see what those whacky discounters at Walmart (motto: Resistance is futile) are up to.

Regular readers of this blog (loved the cookies mom!) will recall when last we left, Sons of Sam had just wrapped up some nasty business with Immigration officials. Illegal immigrants had said they worked as many as seven days a week, were not paid overtime and did not receive injury compensation. Jeez. Talk about unreasonable expectations. What's Spanish for wussy?

Before that we were entertained by company officials responding to a report that their failure to pay employees a living wage at the average 200 person Wal-Mart store may have resulted in an added cost to federal taxpayers of $420,750 per year. "We call it cost dispersal," a Walmart spokesperson said. "We disperse our costs to other people."

Now it turns out there was good reason they weren't spending their money on employees. They were saving it to invest in anti-union activities. Last week, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union filed a complaint, that alleged former Vice Chairman Tom Coughlin used expense account reimbursements to make secret payments to anyone willing to identify pro-union Wal-Mart workers.

"They said it was an expense account," Coughlin said, "and if you don't think unions are expensive, well, you just haven't been paying attention."

Coughlin was on Wal-Mart's board until March 25, when he resigned. Last week, Walmart disclosed that it had suspended Coughlin's benefits. "If it means getting us off the hook, we're going to run this white boy up the flag pole and watch him flap in the breeze," said a company spokesperson on condition on anonymity.

Walmart has suffered a string of high profile run ins with authorities and local citizens groups lately and has struck back with a nation-wide PR campaign designed to improve its image. "This week we'll be launching our new America We Love You" campaign," said a company spokesperson. When asked to respond to charges that 70% of Walmart goods were made in China and spokesperson said, "OK. So maybe it's 'America We Love Your Money.'"

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