Tag Archives: WalMart

Gold Hidden in Dodd-Frank

Dodd-Frank-ReformNew Orleans Wow!  A seasonal surprise!!  It turns out that there were a couple of pieces of gold hidden in the hills and valleys of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act that I had overlooked and that have international impact.   Retailers are required to report annually on the origin of minerals used in products from war-torn central Africa, thereby looking to strike a blow against “conflict” resources!

According to the Wall Street Journal our buddies Wal-Mart and Target had waged a huge war of their own to try and convince the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to exempt them.  As we all remember Wal-Mart was somehow successful in its battle first for and then against healthcare reform to win an exemption from the provisions of that new act based on its slim pickings health plan currently in place.

The retailers association head whined that the SEC just didn’t understand the “supply chain,” which only means that they want the rule to be caveat emptor – the buyer beware rather than having to take any responsibility for how much blood might be on their hands and later wiped off not by them as the purchaser but by the consumer way down the line.  For a change the SEC held strong.

In another good play the SEC is requiring big oil to disclose how much they pay foreign governments for resource rights, hoping to bring some transparency to the global casino of bribery and corruption in the name of natural resources for developed countries at the rack and ruin of developing nations.  This is also very, very good news.

What’s up these days that we find out what’s going on diplomatic work seems mainly about business and we learn about it from Wikileaks and we can’t curb Wall Street or the banks, but their reform produces international victories?  We must be living in an era of the head fake and the sleight of hand, but for a change score one for us, rather than another for them!


Wal-Mart Still Trying to Put Off Dukes

New Orleans Next year will be the 10th anniversary of the Dukes vs. Wal-Mart suit seeking to rectify the damage that comes from the company’s systematic discrimination against women workers.   The latest company dodge comes by way of an appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court of the 9th Circuit decision to create a million worker class action of the Dukes case.  Bizarrely the company didn’t even question the facts of its gender discrimination only how many of them should be allowed in the suit where damages would run back to 1998.

This is all trending from blatant to bizarre.  The estimates of a settlement now range in the billions which is not surprising:  a million women workers each averaging only $1000 in the settlement would be a billon!

I’ve been wrong on this before.  Almost two years ago in a fit of optimism I wrote here that settlement might be imminent.  My bad!  I had forgotten one of the cardinal Wal-Mart rules:  it’s always cheaper to pay lawyers than to pay workers.

The company’s legal gambit seems to be that the “class” has too little in common, only the fact “of the lawsuit” and that “they are women.”  It’s hard to imagine why that isn’t more than enough?  The whole point is that they are women, and the company did them wrong.  Hello?  Are they just playing for time now?  Postponing a bad press day?  What’s up?  They can’t really be serious that they think the class is too big?  They should have thought of that before they paid women less, didn’t promote them, and rolled them out earlier than men.

Dukes is still working as a greeter for Wal-Mart even a decade after filing the suit.  Now there are going to be three women on the Supreme Court.

The waiting strategy is not going to work for Wal-Mart.

I’m liking Dukes’ odds now, because at a million to one, a million women against one company, I’m not seeing a way to lose at this point.