Convention Resolution

Resolution 23: Wake-Up Wal-Mart

Submitted by United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

WHEREAS, Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the world with over $10 billion in annual profits and 1.6 million employees; and

WHEREAS, Wal-Mart’s business model is driving a race to the bottom by lowering wages, shipping good-paying American jobs overseas and adding to the health care crisis in America; and

WHEREAS, this model is resulting in increasing downward pressure on wages and benefits for retail and production workers globally; and

WHEREAS, Wal-Mart fails to provide company health care coverage to more than 600,000 of its employees; and

WHEREAS, Wal-Mart’s poor health care coverage, with high deductibles and costly premiums, combined with poverty-level wages, forces tens of thousands of its employees onto taxpayer-funded public health care; and

WHEREAS, Wal-Mart costs U.S. taxpayers up to $2.5 billion per year in public assistance programs because of poverty-level wages and poor benefits; and

WHEREAS, Wal-Mart has been found guilty of child labor violations, exploiting immigrant labor and is the defendant in a gender discrimination suit affecting 2 million current and former female employees; and

WHEREAS, Wal-Mart has consistently denied workers their democratic right to organize and has even gone so far as to shut down a store to prevent a union; and

WHEREAS, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) has launched the Wake-Up Wal-Mart campaign with the goal of changing Wal-Mart by building local community coalitions at every Wal-Mart location in America; and

WHEREAS, the UFCW, in conjunction with the AFL-CIO, is building a global coalition among unions, global union federations and other groups which speak for the workers who are affected by Wal-Mart’s business practices; and

WHEREAS, the Wake-Up Wal-Mart campaign is bringing together grassroots community leaders, citizens, workers and union members who have woken up to the high costs of Wal-Mart and recognize Wal-Mart’s negative impact on our jobs, our wages, our health care and our communities;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations and its affiliates commit to supporting a national Wake-Up Wal-Mart campaign to build a nationwide grassroots movement by organizing local labor and community coalitions throughout the country; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO and its affiliates commit to support efforts to build a global coalition to ensure that Wal-Mart’s antiunion business model does not become established internationally.