May 17, 2005
Washington DC – WakeupWalmart.com, America’s campaign to change Wal-Mart, called on its 50,000 supporters to immediately contact and pressure Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich not to veto the “”Fair Share Healthcare”” legislation.
As adopted, by both the Maryland State Senate and the House of Delegates, the “”Fair Share Healthcare”” bill requires companies with more than 10,000 employees to live up to their responsibilities as profitable employers and pay their fair share for health care.
Contrary to some reports, the Maryland bill does not specifically target Wal-Mart.
There are 4 corporations in Maryland with more than 10,000 employees (Giant Foods, Northrup Grumman, Johns Hopkins, and Wal-Mart). Wal-Mart is simply the only company that fails to live up to its moral responsibility of providing its workers with adequate health care. The bill is designed to ensure large employers don’t use state public health assistance as a method of providing healthcare for their workers.
“”With over $10 billion in profits last year it is morally bankrupt that Wal-Mart fails to pay its fair share of health care costs,”” said Paul Blank, WakeUpWalmart.com’s campaign director. “”It is sad to see Governor Ehrlich say no to health care for families and children and yes to tax subsidies for multi-billion dollar corporations.””
The Fair Share Healthcare legislation in Maryland is part of growing effort by the UFCW, WakeUpWalmart, and numerous civic and community groups, who are determined to make corporations, like Wal-Mart, live up to their responsibilities. The goal of such legislation is to ensure that large companies do not shift their healthcare costs on to taxpayers at a time when our healthcare system is already in crisis.