Thursday, November 10, 2005

MoveOn from Wal-Mart

Another worth reading. (And if you haven't joined MoveOn yet, please do. Thanks.)

Dear MoveOn member,

The grassroots response to the new Wal-Mart documentary has been incredible. Thanks to you and our many partners, "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" will debut next week in over 7,000 living rooms and community centers across the country—a true groundswell.

MoveOn is co-sponsoring the screenings on Tuesday, November 15th with a focus on legislative solutions. But you can also find a Wal-Mart house party any day next week with different themes, ranging from health care to small businesses, and meet up with folks from many different sectors in your community.

Can you join us at a screening in your neighborhood? Find one now, at:

Click here to get your own advance copy of the movie, and support this grassroots effort:

The screenings are organized by a historic alliance of labor unions, small businesses, churches and progressive groups1 who have all come together to tell the true story of Wal-Mart's toll on American workers and communities—and to push for change.

Why Wal-Mart? As the world's largest corporation, Wal-Mart has single-handedly lowered the bar for working families in the global economy. By bringing together allies from every sector, this campaign offers the unique opportunity to force real reform in Wal-Mart, and beyond. And as we prepare for 2006, it shows how the progressive economic values that built this country are so badly needed once again.

As Congressman George Miller put it in the introduction to a Congressional report on Wal-Mart:

There's no question that Wal-Mart imposes a huge, often hidden, cost on its workers, our communities, and U.S. tax-payers...And Wal-Mart is in the driver's seat in the global race to the bottom, suppressing wage levels, workplace protections, and labor laws.2

Miller's Congressional inquiry found that Wal-Mart's full time employees are paid so little that the average Wal-Mart store costs American tax-pyaers over $400,000 in emergency health care, rent assistance, nutrition programs and educational services for employees and their families.3

Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Price was produced for less than half of what Wal-Mart spends on PR in a single day,4 but it has clearly hit a nerve. Wal-Mart is pouring millions of dollars into PR firms and political consultants to try to stamp out this fire.5 And it's no wonder—it's a powerful movie.

The film features real stories told by the people who lived them: Wal-Mart employees (from executives to floor level) shocked by abuse and discrimination, family owned businesses blown away by the Wal-Mart storm, even sweatshop workers in China and Bangladesh who produce the Wal-Mart apparel.

Next week, tens of thousands of us will gather in living rooms across the country to hear the true story of Wal-Mart and then take action together to make a difference. We hope you can join us.

To find a screening near you, click here:

To buy your own copy of the film, and support this campaign, click here:

Thanks for all that you do.

–Ben, Matt, Micayla, Carrie and the Political Action Team
Thursday, November 10th, 2005

p.s. Since its release, the film has been getting rave reviews. Here's just a couple:

From The Los Angeles Times:

"Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" is an engrossing, muckraking documentary about the retail giant that's been called "the world's largest, richest and probably meanest corporation."6

From The New York Times:

"The High Cost of Low Price" makes its case with breathtaking force.7

From Entertainment Weekly:

"Greenwald floats the vital issue of whether Wal-Mart should be restrained by antimonopoly regulations, but his real question is cultural: Even with its rock-bottom prices, is Wal-Mart in the best interest of American consumers?"8

From T.V. Guide:

"3.5 (out of 4) stars! [An] Important, awareness-building documentary."9

From the Villiage Voice:

"Viewers may not be surprised to learn of Wal-Mart's horrific track record, but they can't deny Greenwald's airtight advocacy."10


1. For a partial list of partners and supporters of the Wal-Mart movie, see:

2. "New Report Details Wal-Mart's Labor Abuses and Hidden Costs," United States House of Representatives, Committee on Education and the Work Force, Democratic Staff, February 14, 2005

3. "New Report Details Wal-Mart's Labor Abuses and Hidden Costs," United States House of Representatives, Committee on Education and the Work Force, Democratic Staff, February 14, 2005

4. According the Wal-Mart 2005 Annual Report, the company spends $1.4 billion annually on public relations, or $3.8 million a day.

Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Price was made for $1.8 million.
"Local church to show film critical of Wal-Mart," Lincoln Journal Star, Thursday, November 10th 2005

5. "A New Weapon for Wal-Mart: A War Room," The New York Times, November 1st, 2005

6. "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," The Los Angeles Times, November 4th, 2005,0,4680829.story?coll=cl-movies-util

7. "A Look Inside the Outsize Company That Is the Biggest Retailer on the Planet," The New York Times, November 4th, 2005

8. Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," Entertainment Weekly, November 4th 2005,6115,1125297_1_0_,00.html

9. "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," T.V. Guide, November, 2005

10. "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," The Villiage Voice, November 1st, 2005,tracking4,69580,20.html


At 2:08 AM, Anonymous Blue Cross of California said...

I hope walmart will work to provide health coverage for employees as it is important to many and less than 50% currently have health care.


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