February 7, 2007
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) supports universal, affordable and quality health care coverage. The UFCW believes that we need to build a broad-based coalition to bring about health care reform. And we applaud everyone, management and labor, that calls for universal care.
It’s not appropriate to take the stage with a company that refuses to remedy its mistreatment of workers, among other irresponsible practices. Wal-Mart is actually decreasing health care coverage to employees and facing the largest gender discrimination case in the history of this country.
The UFCW has a history of working with responsible employers—employers who step up and provide good wages and benefits to employees even in difficult, competitive times.
Wal-Mart is the largest corporation that provides the least health care to employees. But suddenly the company has become a proponent of health care for everyone—apparently, though, as long as Wal-Mart doesn’t have to deal with the health care needs of its own employees.
Wal-Mart is changing its public posture, but it also needs to change its actual corporate practices. And that practice begins with taking responsibility for its own employees.
We do need to reform and restructure the current employer-based health system to achieve universal coverage, but until we have such reform, Wal-Mart needs to take responsibility for providing affordable health care to employees.
American workers need universal health care. The way out of our country’s health care crisis is national reform that brings about affordable, quality universal care.
In addition to our continuing advocacy for universal care, the UFCW will continue our fight for good health care benefits for workers at the bargaining table. And we will continue our fight on behalf of Wal-Mart workers so that they have affordable health care benefits and wages.
We will not settle for empty expediency.