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    UFCW Blog

March 9, 2006

A Statement from the UFCW on the FDIC

(Washington, DC) – The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) looks forward to participating next month in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) public hearings on Wal-Mart’s application for an industrial loan company (ILC) charter in Utah.

“The unprecedented number of comments against the Wal-Mart application show broad-based opposition to approving the application.” said Michael J. Wilson, UFCW International Vice President and Director of Legislative and Political Action.   “We fully expect that the public hearings will offer further evidence on why the FDIC has ample authority to reject Wal-Mart’s application.”

ILCs are regulated differently than banks because they were originally small entities permitted by a loophole in the Bank Holding Act.  If Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer with a history of unethical business practices, is granted access into banking via an ILC charter, there will be far-reaching consequences beyond the original intent of the act.    If Wal-Mart charters in Utah, a “Wal-Mart bank” could branch out into more than 20 states because of state reciprocal branching laws.  While Wal-Mart denies it plans to enter retail banking, its previous applications contradict their current publicly stated plans.  Approving the Wal-Mart application risks not only undermining the separation between commerce and banking, but threatens an expansion of “Wal-Mart banks” in multiple states, and in multiple aspects of the banking industry.

With an ILC charter, Wal-Mart’s sheer size and greed would threaten our nation’s banking system.  If Wal-Mart enters retail banking, competitors will have to follow suit in order to remain competitive.    This would endanger community banks that are essential to local economies and cause concern among small local businesses across the nation.

“UFCW will continue working with its partners in the Sound Banking Coalition, in the labor movement, and with consumer and community groups to make sure the FDIC is aware of the serious concerns about Wal-Mart’s application into banking,” said Wilson.

The UFCW expects these and other issues to be thoroughly debated by regulators and lawmakers before any decision is made on granting Wal-Mart access into banking.

March 7, 2006

Statement on Wal-Mart’s use of bloggers as reported by the New York Times

“”In an effort to salvage its declining image, Wal-Mart is now using conservative bloggers to promote its right wing agenda. Borrowing a page from Karl Rove’s playbook, Wal-Mart’s public relations team is trying to create a false sense of support for a flawed business model which is hurting families.

The truth is the American people deserve more from Wal-Mart than manufactured rhetoric and false notions of support. The American people will not tolerate deception. For example, there is no such group ‘Working Families for Wal-Mart.’ The group is a front, comprised of several paid consultants and business associates and staffed by Wal-Mart’s own public relations firm.

These dirty campaign tricks didn’t work for big tobacco and they won’t work for Wal-Mart. We hope Wal-Mart will abandon the divisive tactics of its right wing advisors and embrace a better path. A path which addresses our genuine concern for its workers and helps restore people’s faith in corporate America.””

March 1, 2006




WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Wal-Mart workers, community leaders, and grassroots supporters of WakeUpWalMart.com, took part in a new national health care campaign initiative, called “”Stop the Wal-Mart Health Care Crisis.”” The campaign will hold events in 14 states and included rare testimonials from 17 former and current Wal-Mart workers, the largest ever to speak out publicly at one time. The workers called on CEO Lee Scott and Wal-Mart to do more to help them and to improve conditions and benefits for other workers and their families.

WakeUpWalMart.com also released new state data detailing the incredible cost American taxpayers bear because of the Wal-Mart health care crisis. Based on our latest report, “”America Pays, Wal-Mart Saves,”” the national cost to taxpayers of the Wal-Mart Health Care Crisis was an estimated $1.37 billion in 2005 and is projected to cost taxpayers a whopping $9.1 billion over the next five years (2006-2010).

According to the new state-by-state data, the top five states most affected by Wal-Mart’s failure to provide affordable health care to its workers and families are Texas, Florida, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania. The full report, which includes data for all 50 states, is available for download at www.WakeUpWalMart.com .

“”Unfortunately, Wal-Mart’s health care crisis has gotten worse, not better. At the same time health care costs are rising, Wal-Mart has the nerve to cut health care spending per employee. If Lee Scott is serious about working on real health care solutions, he should sit down with us and address why over 775,000 of his workers and their families have no company health care which costs taxpayers over $1.37 billion every year,”” said Paul Blank, campaign director for WakeUpWalMart.com.

As part of the “”Stop the Wal-Mart Health Care Crisis”” campaign, WakeUpWalMart.com also released a new 30-second TV commercial entitled “”How Could They.”” The TV ad asks how Wal-Mart could pocket $11 billion in profit while failing to provide company health care to 57% of its employees leaving nearly 1 out of every 2 children of its employees without health care or on public assistance. In addition, the campaign sent out a direct mail piece which asks, “”How could they do this to us?”” The mail piece includes images of children and highlights the terrible cost and the human impact the Wal-Mart health care crisis has on America. The targeted media campaign will begin in the key swing state of Ohio.

The “”Stop the Wal-Mart Health Care Crisis”” campaign is the latest initiative by WakeUpWalMart.com. WakeUpWalMart.com is America’s national campaign to change Wal-Mart and one of the fastest growing social movements in America with 183,000 supporters in all 50 states.

TV AD Script “”How Could They””

How could Wal-Mart do this to…children. 46 percent of children of Wal-Mart employees are uninsured or on taxpayer health care. Families. Over 775,000 Wal-Mart employees and families have no company health care. Taxpayers. Wal-Mart will cost American taxpayers an estimated $9 billion over the next five years. All while pocketing $11 billion in profits. Don’t let Wal-Mart do this to us. Go to WakeUpWalMart.com Tell Wal-Mart to change.