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A young woman supporting two children was fired from her job recently. She worked at our local Walmart for eight years. She loved her job, and the customers loved her.
So what was her infraction? Walmart doesn’t have to say. That’s California’s law.
So what changed? She took a week off work, personal time, and joined her fellow workers at the Walmart shareholders meeting in Arkansas. She was there to bring the voice of Walmart employees across this country, who are too scared to speak up, about pay and benefits that are so low they are subsidized by the taxpayers in food stamps and Medi-Cal. But most of all, she was there to bring attention about the retaliation against Walmart workers when they speak up.
Twenty-six Walmart employees were fired for going to Arkansas, 11 who protested here in California, and five who went to Yahoo! headquarters to speak to the Yahoo! CEO. That’s 42 workers in one week.
The CEO of Yahoo! sits on the Walmart board. All five who were arrested in Sunnyvale just wanted to have a Walmart board member hear their complaints.
Do these corporate leaders have any loyalty or obligation to their workers? Do they have any loyalty to anything other than the dollar?
Our founding fathers and fellow colonists were worried about this aristocratic-corporate attitude toward their fellow citizens from the start.
Back in the 17th century England created the East India Trading Company, one of the very first corporate giants who manipulated colonial law and ignored the citizen’s voices. This was the very company that the Boston Tea Party protested against.
Was our young mother and local citizen doing anything different? And she didn’t do any property damage.
Alexander Hamilton voiced his concerns in the Federalist Papers when he warned us about commerce’s loyalty must be “to” the country, not self-serving profits.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams also voiced their concerns in their 1813 letters. Jefferson said, “I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
As it stands today, it looks like we’ve failed our forefathers when we see corporations such as Walmart manipulating the government and commerce before our eyes.
Do you think Hamilton, Adams and Jefferson were speaking out for people like our local mother who lost her job because she spoke out against the aristocracy, Walmart, and the retaliation of her fellow workers?