Walmart & ALEC
Posted on May 31, 2012 by jway
CALLS GROWING FOR CHANGES IN WALMART LEADERSHIP, BUSINESS PRACTICES
Statement from Dan Schlademan, Director, Making Change at Walmart,
on Walmart Decision to Suspend Membership in ALEC
(Washington, D.C.) – A statement from Dan Schlademan, Director, Making Change at Walmart:
“The side effects of Walmart’s growth-at-any-cost business strategy continue to be exposed to the company’s customers, shareholders and workers. Walmart played a leadership role within the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as ALEC wrote and pushed shameful laws that promoted gun violence that disproportionately hurt African-Americans.
“Walmart’s escalating legal and ethical struggles are inspiring a growing number of customers, shareholders, workers and community leaders to call for changes in the company’s leadership and the way Walmart does business.
“Today is a victory for the growing coalition of community, civil rights and religious groups, workers and unions who are calling for Walmart to change the way it does business so we can rebuild an America that works for the middle class. The Making Change at Walmart campaign worked closely with Color of Change, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Common Cause, ALEC Exposed, the Center for Media and Democracy and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union to call for Walmart to leave ALEC. Our efforts have only begun to demand more accountability, from Walmart and the Walton Family, for the impact on our communities of their business and political practices.
“We call on the Walton Family Foundation to follow suit and sever its relationship with ALEC immediately.”
Walmart played a key leadership role in helping advance the “Stand your Ground” legislative program. In 2005, Walmart executive Janet Scott co-chaired ALEC’s Criminal Task Force that promoted the Stand Your Ground legislation. Walmart is the nation’s largest seller of guns and ammunition. Maggie Sans, Walmart’s vice president of public affairs and government relations also served as secretary of ALEC’s private enterprise board before resigning today. The Walton Family Foundation remains a member of ALEC.
Tomorrow is Walmart’s annual shareholder meeting and pressure is growing for changes to the Walmart board:
- The largest pension fund in the U.S., and several other large pension funds, have announced they will vote their shares for a proposal on executive pay (proposal #6) and against some members of the current board leadership up for re-election, including Walton heir and chairman of the board Rob Walton.
- The largest shareholder proxy advisory firm, ISS, recommended shareholders vote for proposal #6 and against four members of the board.
- European advisory firms PIRC and F&C recommended voting against some of the Walmart board members, though not all.
- A petition created by Walmart Associate Venanzi Luna calling for the resignation of Walmart CEO Mike Duke and Board Chair Rob Walton has more than 17,000 signatures.
- Proposal #6, which calls for greater disclosure about incentive pay, was introduced by Mary Tifft, Jackie Goebel, Girshriela Green and Carlton Smith, all of whom are current Walmart Associates, with collectively over 60 years of service with the company.