Wal-Mart’s Working Families of America

Ideas and Issues Labor Organizing WalMart

New Orleans    Sometimes it is scary how smart Wal-Mart seems to be.  Reading about them moving cheap shots and vaccinations into their stores with a partner, just seems brilliant!

But, then it turns out that they will also still go “old school” and flip back a few chapters to Mr. Sam’s book, and do something really bonehead like set up their very own “organization” to pimp for the goodness that is Wal-Mart against the enemies they still fear at the gate — including all of us no doubt!  Last week it was revealed that the organization and membership, using Andy Young as the titular head, will be called the Working Families of America. 

The WFA also seems to have an eager beaver board composed inordinately of representatives of their primary friends — suppliers!  Hardly an arms length, spontaneous eruption of support, I would say.  Some of them interviewed by Michael Barbaro of the New York Times (www.nytimes.com) indicated that Wal-Mart had been good to them, so it was a small way of paying back, which sounds honest at least, since Wal-Mart furnishes their paychecks.

The part that I love the best is that Working Families of America to me sounds a lot like a union.   Did the yahoos think about that?

The AFL-CIO has Working America (www.aflcio.org)

The UFCW has Wal-Mart Workers of America. (www.ufcw.org)

We work closely with the Wal-Mart Workers Association (www.walmartwork.org)

It’s a movement!  And, Wal-Mart has not only shown its thin skin, but has jumped into the mess to help legitimize the whole thing.   Welcome aboard!