Coalition to launch attack on Wal-Mart business practices

April 03, 2005|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Led by Wal-Mart's longtime opponents in organized labor, a new coalition of about 50 groups - including environmentalists, community organizations, state lawmakers and academics - is planning the first coordinated assault intended to press the company to change the way it does business.

In the next few months, those critics say, they will speak with one voice in print advertising, videos and books attacking the company. They plan to put forward an association of disenchanted Wal-Mart employees, current and former, to complain about what they call poverty-level wages and stingy benefits.

The critics have already begun lobbying in 26 states for legislation intended to embarrass Wal-Mart by disclosing how many thousands of its employees do not receive company health insurance and turn to taxpayer-financed Medicaid.

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