September 8, 2005
Boston – This morning, after being greeted by more than 50 supporters of WakeUpWalMart.com, Wal-Mart’s CEO Lee Scott addressed the WakeUpWalMart.com campaign directly. Mr. Scott was making a presentation at the Prudential Equity Group Back-to-School Consumer Conference in Boston.
Mr. Scott began his remarks by first acknowledging WakeUpWalMart.com’s supporters and then went on to say, “”When it comes to the group outside it is the largest most well financed corporate campaign in the history of business.”” Scott continued, “”This is not going away…this is a significant issue we face.””
“”Wal-Mart is right about one thing – WakeUpWalMart.com will not go away until Wal-Mart makes real changes, not just today, but everyday,”” said Paul Blank, WakeUpWalMart.com’s campaign director. “”The American people expect no less.””
Mr. Scott also suggested our campaign to change Wal-Mart is “”directed at slowing this company down.”” He continued, “”this is not a matter of Wal-Mart just needing to hire public relations people. …We believe this will be a strategy we have in place for a long time. …We recognize that…and we continue to make significant improvement.””
Reflecting on Wal-Mart’s efforts in the Katrina aftermath, Lee Scott said the lesson was, “”when you do the right thing good things accrue to you.”” We agree. So, Mr. Scott, we challenge you to ‘do the right thing’ and address our genuine concerns of poverty level wages, no company health care for 52% of your associates, child labor law violations, gender discrimination, and other important issues we have raised.
“”If Wal-Mart’s response to Hurricane Katrina demonstrates anything, it is that Wal-Mart can choose to change and do the right thing, but everyday it does nothing to address the health care and economic crisis facing working America,”” said Blank.