July 24, 2005
Statement by Paul Blank, WakeUpWalMart.com’s campaign director on the startling new revelations from Wal-Mart’s gender discrimination lawsuit, Dukes vs. Wal-Mart Stores.
According to internal documents and depositions, Wal-Mart was warned that it
may have a discrimination problem and chose to do nothing about it. Wal-Mart formed a diversity committee in 1996, but, instead of implementing the committee’s recommendations, Wal-Mart disbanded the panel. Two years later, Wal-Mart’s gender discrimination problem actually got worse.
In fact, an internal Wal-Mart document entitled, “”Minority/Gender Pay Analysis”” dated July 21, 2000 specifically states, “”Generally, average salaries for female and minority males are below the overall average pay for most jobs. *Average pay increases for minority males and females are generally below overall average income ratio across most jobs.””
This led Jeffrey Reeves, a former vice president for personnel at the company’s Sam’s Club unit in a January 2003 deposition, when asked about whether or not management wanted to seriously address diversity, to state, “”I would say a lot was lip service.””
“”Today, we are stunned by Wal-Mart’s blatant disregard for women and minorities. Wal-Mart’s greed caused more than 1.6 million of its female employees to suffer. Wal-Mart needs to stop paying, in its own employee’s words, “”lip service”” to its discrimination problems and tell the American people the truth.””
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Wal-Mart has ignored or disbanded the findings of an internal investigation. In 2000, for example, an internal Wal-Mart audit found “”extensive violations of child labor laws and state regulations requiring time for breaks and meals.”” In just one week, the audit found 1,371 violations. Wal-Mart chose to stop the audit and as a result children suffered. Just 3 weeks ago, Wal-Mart was fined once again for repeated child labor violations in Connecticut.
“”Wal-Mart wants to ignore serious problems at the expense of women, children and our country. The American public is going to hold Wal-Mart accountable for the high cost we all pay for Wal-Mart’s $10 billion in profit.””