Monday, March 31, 2008

Send Walmart a Message !!!!

The story of Debby Shank, a former Walmart employee is widely known. A few years ago, she was involved in an auto accident. Her health insurance, which was made available through Wal-mart covered the expenses following the devastating accident. She was awarded $470.000.00 dollars in a lawsuit settlement. She requires nursing home care. She and her husband had to divorce so Medicaid and Medicare could start paying their disastrous expenses. Walmart has sued successfully to recover the money paid for her care from the insurance company. The family has already paid over two hundred thousand dollars for her ongoing care. Paying back Walmart will devastate the family. On top of all this, the Shanks son was killed recently in Iraq. Because of short term memory loss,Mrs Shank experiences the loss of her son every time it is told to her as though she has heard it for the first time. None of this moves Walmart. Rather than helping the Shank family, they have tied them up in court.
The stupidity of Walmart is astounding. They spend millions a year in advertising. Much of it stresses how good they are to the communities where they are located. They have severe public relations problems because of their treatment of workers, crime in their parking lots and fallout from their decision to favour Chinese suppliers. A compassionate handling of this tragic incident could have been featured as an antidote to their previous bad publicity. The cost of such a strategy would have been nothing in the context of their massive advertising budget.
Instead, of this prudent course of action, Walmart has purchased terrible corporate publicity in exchange for recovering a pittance from the Shank family. The short sightedness of a corporation that has built a massive business is hard to understand.
If you are contemplating a large shopping spree or an expensive electronics purchase, see if Walmart carries the items you seek. Then after shopping elsewhere, enclose your receipt from one of Walmart's competitors in a letter of protest to Walmart's corporate headquarters. Enough indignant consumers could raise the price of corporate greed to the point that compassion would become a wise business choice.
Shopping is voting. There is nothing wrong with a corporation such as Walmart becoming wildly successful. But with success comes responsibility to their workers who facilitate corporate prosperity. Vote with your wallet. Support corporate compassion. Punish greedy corporations by taking your patronage to those who respect their workers.
Copyright 2008 by Magdeburger Joe Please click the links below for background stories for this post. The first link is concerning the Debby Shank story. The second link is a video examining Walmart's wider role in American society. Sphere: Related Content

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