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2004-09-02
Winston-Salem, NC. Major Newspaper Calls Wal-Mart A Predator

One of the major newspapers in North Carolina has editorialized against Wal-Mart as a hypocritical, predator company. In an August 27th editorial titled "Actions Speak Louder", the Journal said "if the world's largest retailer truly wants to improve its reputation, it will need more than a new warm-and-fuzzy message. It must change the way it behaves." The editorial notes Wal-Mart's new aggressive advertising campaign, including National Public Radio, focusing on its good corporate citizenship and job opportunities. "The company's message, however, smacks of hypocrisy," the Journal writes, "considering its predatory practices and how they have destroyed jobs, small businesses and communities. Wal-Mart preys on small businesses. In town after town across America, Wal-Mart's big boxes have destroyed small businesses. Towns lose their base of small business people, who were making middle-class wages, while Wal-Mart adds more to its enormous profits only to export them out of town." The fact that North Carolina has been a state hard hit by textile manufacturing outsourcing has not been lost on the Journal. "North Carolina's manufacturers, who have been rocked by unfair competition from cheap labor markets abroad and who have seen the state lose tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, blame Wal-Mart more than anyone else. They say that the company uses its enormous wealth and political influence to keep the borders open to cheap products imported from China and other low-wage countries." The newspaper advises consumers looking for falling prices to "visualize the parallel drop in American manufacturing jobs that allows for those cheaper goods." The editorial concludes by criticizing Wal-Mart's "sugar-sweet advertising that tries to mislead the public," and says that rather than "correcting these bad behaviors," Wal-Mart has chosen instead "to pose as something it is not so it can continue being what is has been - a predatory company that has not been good for jobs or communities."

What you can do: Ten years ago, Wal-Mart revealed that it had hired a company to keep track of media stories about the retailer, and to rate them on a scale of good to bad, by Congressional district, to closely monitor and "stroke" media when bad stories came out. Wal-Mart must be stroking hard at the Winston-Salem Journal. The editorials just don't get any more truthful than this, and the truth doesn't make Mr. Smiley happy.










 
 
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