You are hereUFCW 1776-led Coalition Calls for Resignation of Walmart Execs over Bribery Scandal... Phila.-area Coalition Says Scandal Shows Leadership Failure
UFCW 1776-led Coalition Calls for Resignation of Walmart Execs over Bribery Scandal... Phila.-area Coalition Says Scandal Shows Leadership Failure
(Philadelphia, PA, May 9) -- A Philadelphia coalition today called for Walmart’s top executives to resign in the wake of news reports of a $24 million bribery scandal and cover-up in the company’s Mexico operations.
Meeting for a news conference at the newly opened Walmart on Wheatsheaf Lane near Aramingo Ave. in Post Richmond, members of the coalition said that reports of bribes paid to local officials in Mexico,
along with reports of the company’s failure to adequately investigate indications that the bribes were taking place, are grounds for the immediate resignation of Rob Walton, Walmart Chairman, and Mike Duke, Chief Executive Officer.
Taking part in the news conference were representatives of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), the NAACP, Jobs with Justice and the United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 1776 and 152, along with community members. They were joined by a visit from the Walmart At 50 Vehicle, a car shrink-wrapped by the UFCW International to highlight Walmart's dismal record on workers' rights, womens' rights and the environment as Walmart marks its 50th anniversary. The car stopped in Philadelphia as part of a national tour.
“On April 21, 2012 the New York Times documented that Walmart’s largest foreign operation, Walmex, passed more than $24 million in bribes to politicians to grease the wheels of its expansion in Mexico,” the coalition said in a statement.
“To make matters worse, the Times’ description of a reported cover-up by Walmart executives at the highest levels appears to be the latest evidence that a culture of lawlessness dominates within the company’s leadership.
“In short, the reports of widespread bribery in Mexico and reported cover-up demonstrate an unacceptable failure of leadership within Walmart.
“Due to the significant ownership of Walmart shares by the Walton family – nearly 50 percent – and the representation of the Walton family on the company’s board, the board’s legally-required independence is compromised. To restore confidence in the company, it is critical that Walmart make itself accountable to its stakeholders – workers, customers, shareholders and the communities where it operates.
“Walmart Chairman S. Robson (Rob) Walton and CEO Mike Duke must resign immediately. Their failure to adequately respond to the alleged illegal activities in a timely and effective manner has undermined their ability to lead the company. To restore accountability and trust, they must step down.
“The Walmart Board of Directors must appoint an independent, respected expert from outside the company to conduct a thorough and independent investigation of the corruption scandal and reported cover-up.
“The members of the billionaire Walton family who control Walmart have allowed the company to trample over the rights of workers and the laws of the U.S. and other countries as they have amassed more wealth than 30 percent of American families combined. This bribery scandal is just the latest example of the super rich one percent refusing to play by the rules that apply to the rest of us.
“It’s ironic that this scandal surfaces just as Walmart prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, because over those 50 years the company’s professed original values have faded away in its relentless pursuit of profits:
• “Walmart associates and workers throughout the company’s global supply and distribution chain are forced to work for poverty wages.
• “Because of Walmart, thousands of American small businesses have had to close their doors or lay off employees
“Walmart’s low-paying jobs have driven down living standards in our communities and in the global economy. The company’s predatory business strategy is leading our economy on a race to the bottom.”
Prior to the action in front of the Aramingo Ave. Walmart, Local 1776 staffers leafleted hundreds of nearby homes to inform the community of Walmart's negative impact on local wages and businesses.