Washington–Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and CommercialWorkers International Union (UFCW) and Chair of Change to Win, today released the following statement to join Walmart associates in the demand for leadership changes at the retail giant.
“The corruption scandal and reported cover-up exposed an unacceptable failure of leadership within Walmart. Walmart Chairman Rob Walton and CEO Mike Duke must resign immediately in an effort to restore integrity and accountability for Walmart associates, shareholders, customers, and communities.
“The New York Times exposed a widespread pattern of Walmart executives bribing government officials to secure permits to build stores in Mexico, followed by a cover-up led by corporate leaders including Duke and Walton. The article raises serious questions about whether Walmart has used the same tactics for its expansion in the United States and across the globe.
“For decades, Walmart has pursued a growth-at-any-cost strategy in cities and towns across the United States and globally. In the U.S., we have watched Walmart secure the building permits, variances, and zoning changes to open its stores, in spite of concerted community opposition.
“The public deserves a wholly independent and thorough investigation of Walmart’s practices. Communities across the globe should take heed of Walmart’s reported unlawful and unethical practices in Mexico, as the company works at a rapid pace to expand its retail stores in South Africa, India, and China, to name a few, in addition to its global supply chain operations.”
The UFCW represents 1.3 million workers, 250,000 in the meatpacking and poultry industries. UFCW members also work in the health care, garment, chemical, distillery and retail industries. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class, visit www.ufcw.org <http://www.ufcw.org> , or join our online community at http://www.facebook.com/UFCWinternational and www.twitter.com/ufcw <http://www.twitter.com/ufcw>
Making Change at Walmart is a campaign challenging Walmart to help rebuild our economy and strengthen working families. Anchored by UFCW, we are a coalition of Walmart associates, union members, small business owners, religious leaders, women advocacy groups, multi-ethnic coalitions, elected officials, and ordinary citizens who believe that changing Walmart is vital for the future of our country.