Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Stop this Killer
There's a small town in northern Alberta called Slave Lake, which is very close to the cottage we've been renting for a few days in the summer for the past couple of years. Nice little town, a fairly vibrant business area to service the cottage and logging industries which are the mainstays in that area. Slave Lake is fairly isolated from other centres.
Last year we noticed a lot of construction just outside of town. When we asked about it, we were told that Wal*Mart was coming to town. And then we were asked if we wanted to buy some prime downtown property, really cheap. That's when we noticed that a few of the businesses had closed.
God damn it! The killer has come to slay another town.
As certain as death and taxes, when Wal*Mart muscles into a small town, the business area dies. I wouldn't have so much of a problem with that if they competed fairly. But they are famous for their shady business dealings, their shody human resources records, and now I read of the unsealing of a US federal immigration affidavit, which claims that senior Wal*Mart officials were aware of the company's practice of hiring illegal immigrants, many of whom were housed in the backs of stores or warehoused in overcrowded conditions. Wal*Mart has aready agreed to pay $11,000,000.00 to settle the matter, but oddly enough, denies that top executives knew of or encouraged the practice.
Give me a break.
You can't build a corporation on the backs of poorly paid workers, and based on the principle of unfair business practices without knowing exactly what is going on in the human resources department.
Now, I try to live by my principles. I recycle, I try to buy locally, I shun excessive packaging, I collect rainwater for my garden, I compost, I buy music, I turn my thermostat down, but I know I could do so much more. And I'm no fucking angel, believe me.
But one thing I have refused to do for years is shop at Wal*Mart. How do you think they can afford to sell that crap so cheaply? I would rather pay more elsewhere and support a (until we find out otherwise, anyway) reputable business. And I can live with that.


Anonymous said...

I'm on board with you, Wal*Mart is a monster. There's a city not too terribly far north of me who launched an all-out assault to keep Wal*Mart from infiltrating the area. Unfortunately they lost and at least 7 businesses that I can think of off the top of my head have folded.

3 cheers for recycling, conservation, and artist support (Avalanche should be here TOMORROW!). I'd say let's get together and burn down a Sam's Club but that would only contribute to global warming. There must be some peaceable solution, right?

Anonymous said...

oops, I totally chopped my name off at the knees. gotta lay off the orange juice.

Neil said...

In Quebec they call it "Wal Merde"

Merde is french for shit.

Appropriately named I would say.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Whoa Michelle - what's in that orange juice, lolz!
Neko Case, who hails from close to you - Tacoma - writes in the last lines of her song "Thrice All American" (gr8 song btw!): "God bless California, make way for the Wal*Mart, I hope they don't find you, Tacoma". To that I say amen, sista!
Neil - Wal Merde! That precious! May I use that in my next insult of the day (I would of course credit you)?

Neil said...

You can credit Quebec for that. :) I thought it was cute too though.