Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wal-Mart Movie and a note to Andrew Grossman

I went to see the Wal-Mart movie. I was very moved by the movie, but had reservations.

Unfortunately, all of our best efforts to try to reform Wal-Mart and make it a better corporate citizen will amount to nothing more than a gnat fly bothering a dragon. Wal-Mart is largest multinational corporation in the world. Boycotts alone will do little. I like to compare Wal-Mart to the dragon, Smaug, in JRR Tolkien's, “The Hobbit.” The army’s arrows bounced off of his shield like rubber toys. The only way they were able to defeat this dragon is they found a weakness in his amour. That is what we need to do with the dragon, Wal-Mart. Find a weakness and exploit it!
Wal-Mart does have a weakness; it’s called a share-holder.

Wal-Mart’s practices are designed to please the share-holders. If we could get 200,000 people to buy one share of stock, we could introduce share-holder’s resolutions that they company would have to vote on. We would be allowed to attend share-holder’s annual meetings, protest practices etc. The first thing we could do it get rid of their CEO, Lee Scott.

Next we would introduce a resolution for affordable health care.
Then we could address the living wage issue etc.

Share-holder resolutions are non-binding and are usually defeated, but the publicity they generate can piece the heart of even the fiercest global multinational.

Wal-Mart has billions of dollars to fight our efforts. They can hire the best of the best in the PR world to spin their critics into oblivion. They however can not do the same if the critics are share-holders.

The next step after that would be to go after the Mutual Funds who are the real power brokers in the world of finance. Find out which companies voted against the resolutions. Find out which pension funds invest in that company and make the membership aware of how that Mutual Fund Company is voting. Now that would cause a real stir!

So my suggestion would be to add to your campaign: “Buy one share of Wal-Mart Stock and become a share-holder.

That would really make headlines!!

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