Think About the Motives of Those Attacking Wal-Mart

RECEIVED Tue., Jan. 2, 2007

Dear Editor,
   I was impressed that you published a letter defending Wal-Mart [Postmarks, Dec. 29], as this point of view would seem to be in opposition to the stances of you and your readers. This open-mindedness moved me to add some comments. While it’s certainly legitimate to attack Walmart for selling cheap imported goods, out-competing community stores, and paying lowish wages, passengers on that bandwagon should know who’s driving it. Wal-Mart operated free of any noticeable criticism until it began to sell food in its "Supercenters." This threatened the traditional supermarket chains (HEB, Albertsons, Safeway, Randalls, et al) as they are unionized and pay significantly higher wages across the board than do nonunion mass retailers. The supposed grassroots anti-Wal-Mart campaign is, in fact, the deliberate creation of the Service Employees International Union. They funded something called the Center for Community & Corporate Ethics, a nonprofit, whose sole mission is the anti-Wal-Mart campaign (also called "Wal-Mart Watch") The Union contributes about $4 million per year to the campaign, and it raises additional money from any other sources it can find to keep the campaign going. Go on its Web site, and it will ask you to contribute to the anti-Wal-Mart cause. While there’s nothing wrong with supporting the union movement, I object to the deceptive way that Wal-Mart is targeted by the creation of a sham grassroots campaign. How is Wal-Mart different from any other mass retailer? Everyone sells cheap imported goods, and Wal-Mart (for example) pays higher wages than Barnes & Noble. Their sin is daring to sell food. In America, we have a mechanism for unionizing a company. Win a secret ballot election by the workers. It’s called "democracy".
Bob Cook
Dripping Springs
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