I don't find this funny, but it's a gem regardless. Wal-Mart, long championed within the sustainability community/industry/vortex as a paragon of sustainable business value, is finally coming up against some real, organised public campaigning. Why? Because the mega-uber-corporation awkwardly misses out completely on the social dimension of sustainability.
A new union-funded non-union group (really rolls of the tongue, doesn't it) called OUR Walmart is taking its demands for worker respect and improved labor environment to the virtual streets of Facebook. The NY Times reports:
“I’m hoping that OUR Walmart will make a difference in the long run,” said Margaret Van Ness, an overnight stocker at a Wal-Mart store in Lancaster, Calif., about 60 miles north of Los Angeles. Ms. Van Ness earns $11.40 an hour after four years of working there. “The managers at our store and others are running over their associates as if they didn’t exist,” she said. “They treat them like cattle. They don’t seem to care about respect for the individuals. We need to bring back respect."
I wish them the best of luck. With over 30 global and regional awards for being everything from most energy efficient retailer to frothy champion of diversity, Wal-Mart's sustainability team can guarantee the industry is going to keep slobbering over its efforts. Minimum wage or not.
That's the American Dream, right?