August 10, 2005

Don't Shrug off Wake-Up Wal-Mart

Alan Murray writes that Wake-Up Wal-Mart is not to be ignored:

Shrugging off "Wake-Up Wal-Mart" would be a mistake, for two reasons. First, the breakup of organized labor may have a rejuvenating effect on unions like the UFCW, which will need to show success. Just as competition sharpens the focus of business, it is likely to do the same for labor.

Second, the new campaign marks a sharp change in strategy for organized labor -- one that could increase its effectiveness. The unions have been losing on the shop floor for decades, and in recent years, their political clout has waned as well. Now they are borrowing a page from media-and-Internet-savvy groups that have scored surprising David-and-Goliath successes by attacking companies where they are most vulnerable: their public reputations. Whether it is Greenpeace going after the oil companies, M�decins Sans Fronti�res targeting pharmaceutical companies or the Rainforest Action Network banging on big banks, these scrappy "nongovernmental organizations" have shown that big, global corporations will go to surprising lengths to keep their images clean. The unions hope Wal-Mart will do the same.

Posted by Kevin on August, 10 2005 at 12:19 AM