Say what you want about Wal-Mart, but the company is always one step ahead of the game. Though I disagree with Wal-Mart’s health care policies, I am amazed by its ability to generate positive press about its attempts to “do good.”
According to The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire, former Vice President and environmental activist Al Gore will be speaking to Wal-Mart executives next week at the company’s quarterly conference on sustainability.
Gore will speak on global warming, the subject of his hugely popular documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which recently surpassed Madonna’s “Truth or Dare” as the 4th most successful documentary in American history.
Asking Gore to speak at a Wal-Mart company meeting is just the latest in a full fledged PR campaign launched by Wal-Mart last November to make the company seem “green-er,” more liberal and “good for the common man.” Wal-Mart has even been floating around grant money to left-wing organizations that are facing intense ethical dilemmas as I write this.
Wal-Mart has also recently adopted strategies to reduce energy use, improve the fuel efficiency of its vehicles, and cut down on waste. It has also created 14 internal groups called the sustainable value network, to explore environmentally sound business practices, covering everything from logistics to greenhouse gases.
Which is great. I just wonder why Wal-Mart continues to ignore people’s biggest complaint with the company, that it underpays employees and doesn’t provide adequate health care for full-time workers?
If Wal-Mart really cares about its brand image with the public then it should start by improving its employer-employee relations, provide quality health care and stop
union busting from here to China.