June 27, 2008
Wal-Mart’s announcement yesterday that it would notify its employees about the EITC is another company effort to polish its image.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) believes the Earned Income Tax Credit is a valuable program for workers. And we applaud efforts that educate and encourage those eligible to apply for it.
But when the world’s largest corporation, when it has revenues in excess of $300 billion, when it has a lengthy and notorious history of shifting its employment costs onto American taxpayers, and when its employment rolls are rife with workers earning wages that put them below the poverty line, it is wrong to take the stage with that company and provide cover for its mistreatment of workers and irresponsible practices.
The facts on Wal-Mart are well documented. The company’s meager wages and benefits push workers onto government assistance programs at taxpayer expense to the tune of billions every year.
Wal-Mart is in the midst of an aggressive campaign to change its public persona. But what it needs to change are its corporate practices. Shouldn’t Wal-Mart begin by taking responsibility for its own workers?
It is more than unfortunate that there are those who would participate in this sham, and it is deeply troubling that elected officials would allow Wal-Mart to cloud their good legislative intentions.