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    News and Updates


July 20, 2006


(Washington, DC) — In a cynical catch 22 decision U.S. District Court Judge J. Frederick Motz determined that Maryland state government could not require companies operating in the state to provide adequate health care coverage for employees because federal law trumped Maryland’s Fair Share Health Care Act passed last winter.

The act required companies with 10,000 or more employees to spend at least 8 percent on employee health care or pay the difference in taxes.

Motz’s decision follows bizarre logic.  Essentially it says because Wal-Mart acts uniformly irresponsibly nationwide by failing to provide adequate heath care for employees, states cannot enact legislation to require companies to meet certain responsible employee health care standards.

The losers in Motz’s decision are Maryland Wal-Mart workers—since Wal-Mart is the only large company that wouldn’t have been in compliance with the legislation.

Clearly, for Motz to conclude that the legislation would hurt Wal-Mart because it would have amounted to the company doing extra paper work in Maryland is more than bizarre and his decision should be appealed and overturned.

Motz’s decision puts the interests of the world’s largest retailer over the needs of Maryland citizens like Cynthia Murray who has worked for Wal-Mart for five years and still can’t afford the Wal-Mart health care plan.  Wal-Mart’s irresponsible corporate agenda shifts medical treatment costs to taxpayers and responsible corporations and further strains America’s failing health care system.

January 11, 2006

UFCW International Union Statement on Wal-Mart Fundraising for Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich

(Washington, DC) – On the CNBC “Street Signs” program this afternoon, Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich danced around the issue of his financial relationship with Wal-Mart Stores.   Ehrlich is now fighting to stop a legislative override of his veto of the “Fair Share Health Care Fund Act” that would require Wal-Mart to pay a minimum amount for employee health care benefits as do other large employers in Maryland.

Despite the Governor’s evasion of the facts, the public deserves to know that Wal-Mart hosted a fundraising reception on behalf of the Governor on December 15, 2004, just months before he vetoed the health care bill.  The invitation makes it very clear that Wal-Mart is the sponsor of the $1,000 per person event and that the Governor is the beneficiary since it states, “Make Checks Payable to Bob Ehrlich for Maryland Committee.”  A copy of the invitation is available by clicking here.

The 825,000 Marylanders who lack health insurance deserve to know the true financial relationship between the Governor and Wal-Mart Stores as he fights against the legislation that will provide fair health care for all the state’s citizens, even those who work for Wal-Mart.

The fundraiser was reported on by the Washington Post (5/4/05) and the Baltimore Sun (12/28/04).

Joseph Hansen, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, appeared on the same CNBC program as Governor Ehrlich and was asked questions concerning Ehrlich’s seeming denial of the fundraising event.