Tuesday, November 27, 2007

HRC playing "catch-up" with the "Wal-Mart issue"

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) appears to be playing catch-up with the “Wal-Mart issue.”

The Human Rights Campaign is giving Wal-Mart (WMT) a red "do not buy" rating in its new consumer guide, bestowing a lump of coal on the retail giant just in time for the holiday shopping season. Citing Wal-Mart's refusal to offer domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian workers, the HRC said Tuesday that the USA's biggest private employer has "more work to do in furthering equality." It advised gays and their supporters to shop elsewhere.

Wal-Mart rated a red 40 on a scale of 100, down from a yellow 65 in 2006. It was among 54 companies that scored 45 or lower in HRC's 2008 Corporate Equality index, which assigns ratings to 519 large companies.

Also in the red: Toys R Us, RadioShack (RSH) and AutoZone (AZO).

Wal-Mart rival Target (TGT) rated a "green" 80, meaning that "consumers should make every effort to support these businesses." Last year's guide was downloaded from the group's website (www.hrc.org/buyersguide) more than 250,000 times.

But, we covered this story back in July:

If you shop at Wal-Mart you can find the same (or better) prices at Meijer, K-Mart, Family Dollar, Kroger, or Save-A-Lot. Stop shopping at Wal-Mart! Forget about the so called "convenience" of "everything" being in one store, it is time for the gay community to stand their ground against Wal-Mart.Let us forget for a moment that this company destroys the "American Dream," exploits their employees, and contracts labor for less than $1.00 per hour in other countries.

Let us not forget that Sam Walton, Wal-Mart's founder sit on the Board of Directors of Winn-Dixie for nearly a decade (thereby learning the grocery business) and opened the first Supercenter (with groceries) less than a year after Winn-Dixie retired him. Let us not forget that Wal-Mart targets other stores to run them out of business: K-Mart, Winn-Dixie, Sloan's (Lexington), Rose's, Kroger, Toys "R" Us, Publix (Florida), Food Lion, A&P, Grand Union, Colonial/Big Star and Piggly Wiggly, and Target.

As it stands Wal-Mart remains the only national discount chain that does not offer partnership benefits (both Sears Holding Company and Target offer same-sex domestic partnership benefits). Wal-Mart also has the dubious distinction of being one of the few companies to ever pull back a GLBT initiative.


Anonymous said...

Here is something to think about... If you do shop at WalMart for your Grocery needs, think about the last item that was in your shopping cart. Walmart sells insecticides, fertilizer, plant foods, motor oil, paint, and paint thinner. This of course is just an abreviated list of the poisons they sell that are spilled in the shopping carts. When was the last time you saw these shopping carts get a good cleaning? Think about the last time you picked up groceries from Walmart took it home, cooked it and some time later, just didn't feel good. You thought It might have been somehting you ate. Well you did.

If you just can't stop shopping Walmart, even though their lack of support to the community and to their employees, then just stop buying their groceries. It's a step in the right direction, Once you've stopped shopping for groceries at Walmart, it will be easy to start shopping elsewhere for all you other needs.

Ted said...

I started my own personal boycott of Wal-Mart earlier this year, it's amazing how much money you save at Wal-Mart, but at what cost to our economy?
Hell, forget about domestic partner benefits - how about Wal_mart not offering AFFORDABLE benefits to their employees? The average employee is considered 'part-time' at that company and even when they ARE full time and offered benefits packages, the cost is overwhelming to say a single mother of two working full time at walmart. The company forces millions of its loyal employees to not only put themselves on government assistance - thereby forcing the American people to support their employees, but has created an atmosphere of pseudo-communism by artificially driving down the CPI - and taking back virtually all of their employees "disposable income" (like there really IS such a thing these days for the average American) through employee spending in the store.
Basically - "We're not going to pay you enough to shop at our competitors, or purchase company sponsored health care. So go on Medicaid and Food Stamps, and remember how inexpensive everything is here and bring that paycheck right back to us so we can rule the world."
I hate Wal-Mart.
Sorry for the rant, but that company makes my skin crawl. Probably more than the President.

jim said...

What kills me about Wal-Mart is the fact that they place an offer of hope in front of the many GLBT shoppers and employees by agreeing to support us, and then they slap us in the face by withdrawing that little ray of sunshine as soon as a couple of religious groups start sending fire.

I've been done with Wal-Mart since then, it's more than past time for a national boycott against them.

Keep on keeping on KEF! Many props.

wendy said...

was the first person trying to say that walmart is killing us by poisoning our food?

Anonymous said...

No, I'm not implying Walmart is killing us by poisioning our food.

I'm saying do you really want to shop somewhere for your groceries where they sell those types of poisons that are spilled in the shopping carts.

I'm simply trying to get people to realize that they should start NOT shopping at Walmart for their Groceries, Once they stop there it will be easier to stop shopping for their video's, or their batteries.

I mean lets face it, with the ecomony the way it is, gas prices skyrocketing and everyone and their dog is trying to find a bargain, it's going to be hard not to shop discount. But if you start small by not purchasing your groceries there, think how easy it will be to do the same for all other items.

Anonymous said...

Well. I don't like WalMart but the comment about poison was ridiculous. If that is the case, then we shouln't shop at Meier, Super Kmart, and even Target sells food items along with all the chemicals you cited. Get a clue.

travis said...


That, is a great article.

~~I wondered if they wanted to boycott over Wal-Mart's repressive labor policies, for its union-busting at its American stores, or its exploitation of workers at factories in China.

Did they object to Wal-Mart's encouraging its workers to apply for Medicaid and other state benefits so the company doesn't have to pay for their health care?

Were they fired up about Wal-Mart's siphoning dollars from downtown stores all over the nation?~~

Read it.

Malgoska said...

I have not set my foot inside a walmart store (and sam's, for that matter) since 1999. Not only I don't see myself spending more on the same or equivalent items, but I feel better about myself, for I do not contribute to the misery of walmart workers.

Walmart "low prices" slogan is a lie. One can buy the same stuff elsewhere for either the same money, or for less. Walmart's impact - negative, mind you - on your community is for real. Many stores closed down, not being able to handle the unfair competition. Many store workers lost their jobs, that paid fair wages. Now they either work for walmart, or are unemployed. In both cases, they have far less money than when they worked for someone else than walmart/had a job.

Walmart declining benefits for domestic partnership is just one more reason NOT to shop there at all. Let me tell you: if I had only walmart store left where I live, I would drive to another town to shop.

alice said...

Wal*Mart will fall, just like TG&Y, A&P, Roses, Montgomery Ward, K-Mart (though they are having a turnaround), J.G. McCrory's, and Jitney Jungle just to name a few.

Anonymous said...

Wal-Mart, is the worst place to work, the way they treat their employees is awful. I can attest to that. I worked there. If you're hardworking, faithful, honest and dependable, you are not respected at all. It seems as though the lazy ones get the promotions and better work schedules. The management is incompetent, and in most cases - plain stupid. But; this is the type of environment Wal-Mart
likes creating. Management despises a good working atmosphere, they prefer creating havoc. I HATE this company, and I'm weaning myself from it gradually. The Winn-Dixie Supermarket closed down in the small town that I live, why? Because; WM built a supercenter directly behind it. This is one dirty group of people. I am one disgruntled ex-employee, I can't imagine why I went to work there, I certainly did not have to. But, I felt the need to get out of the house for awhile. But, it's not an experience that I like to talk about. This company is AWFUL, and I pity the employees who depend on Wal-Mart for their living. They are as bad as this administration. The day that I WALKED OUT the door, that's one of the smartest things I could have possibly done.

Anonymous said...

As corrupt as the Human Rights Campaign is I am sure all WalMart will have to do is give them a little contribution and they will be back in the top ratings again.

Anonymous said...

As usual, HRC is a day late and a dollar short. We Queers should have all stopped shopping there years ago [ I started boycotting them in the mid-'80s ]. We shouldn't wait until Wal-Mart hits the LGBTQ community directly...we should have stood in solidarity with all their other victims a long time ago. It's no big secret that they treat their employees like dirt, and their "wholesome" image is just a PR scheme.

ryan t. said...

I just received an email from you guys. Thank you for beginning the Wal-Mart boycott! LGBT POWER!

Anonymous said...

our community must stand united on this

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