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03/8 2006

Wal-Mart Seeks Global Ethics Chief – Not Actual Ethics

In the Global Ethics report I saw a piece on Wal-Mart seeking a Global Ethics Chief.
Facing numerous class-action lawsuits and ire from its employees, and
patrons Wal-Mart if finally looking to put a good face forward.  From a
community standpoint it may be too late.  I’m in the middle of Doug
Rushkoff’s ‘Get Back In the Box‘ and so many of his points apply to this situation.  Wal-Mart is looking for an Ethics Chief … not actual ethics.

As a  corporation they are run and governed by the bottom line, and
in that case they have little room for consideration of what is right
… only what is profitable.  From hiring illegal immigrants to clean
stores, underpay employees, and cut health benefits they are looking to
boost margins at all costs.This flies in the face of ethics and their
attempt is little more than a farce.

Rushkoff has a wonderful
example of how a retail in this segment can be ethical, socially
responsible and be rewarded with extreme customer loyalty and
consistent profits.  Costco
covers 92% of health insurance costs, has 1/2 the staff turnover of
Wal-Mart, and has $.9 billion in net cash compared with Wal-Marts $25.6
billion in net debt.  They pay their employees fairly, treat them well,
and in turn have a loyal customer base. Communities, and business would
most certainly benefit from following the Costco’s model and embracing
their ethics model. As posted in Community Mobilization.

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