April 23, 2012
(Washington, D.C.) – Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and Chair of Change to Win, today released the following statement in response to the New York Times expose of Walmarts corruption and purported cover-up by senior company officials.
The New York Times story about the Walmart Mexico corruption scandal and reported cover-up exposes serious violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and demands an immediate and thorough investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Walmart senior management exposed its lack of corporate morality and internal ethics to workers, shareholders, consumers and community members.
Walmart has spent millions of dollars to rehabilitate its image and buy the support of key allies in an effort to break into new markets while making promises about the benefits of its business model. But by pursuing a relentless strategy in the U.S. and abroad of growth at any cost in pursuit of profits, Walmarts senior management has proven that it is willing to trample on worker rights, discriminate against women, damage small businesses and the environment, and now potentially violate laws in the U.S., Mexico and other countries.
The reported cover-up by Walmart executives at the highest levels exposes a core truth: Walmart cannot be taken at its word. A Department of Justice investigation into foreign bribery is an urgently needed first step. Congress should immediately convene hearings to examine whether Walmart is using these unethical business practices in their U.S. operations.</p