Friday, March 18, 2005

i can't escape

I know people are sick of reading about this damn corporation, but they're just getting their ass kicked so hard that my manhood requires me to post about it.

Walmart paid $11 million today to settle an impending civil immigration case involving the use of "illegal" immigrant workers. This was a no-brainer, since Walmart has been the subject of a four-year federal investigation for using the workers in the first place, not paying them or covering their injury insurance, and...wait for it...LOCKING THEM INSIDE THE STORES DURING THE NIGHT-SHIFT. This is actually a more common practice than you'd think, but the Wal-Mart suit helped bring this hazardous and degrading "anti-theft technique" to light.

As always, though, when Walmart loses it tends to still win. In this case, the $11 million settlement is the largest civil immigration settlement to date, but Wal-mart avoided any criminal charges on the issue.

Eh. Regardless, this settlement demonstrates again why the legal battle against Wal-Mart will form such a crucial part of the overall Wal-Mart campaign. We need a sea change in public perception of Wal-Mart, a wholesale recognition and condemnation of the enormous gap between what America's largest employer preaches and what it practices. High profile suits, while of course providing justice for Wal-Mart's victims, also bring the continuing injustices -- and our willing dismissal of them -- into stark relief. So even when cases like this don't present us with a complete win, they set the framework for an ongoing fight and bring us a few steps closer to the inevitable reckoning.

So to speak. I enjoy talking about the Wal-Mart campaign in Messianic terms.

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