August 18, 2014
Washington, DC – In response to Walmart’s U.S. Manufacturing Summit, which convened August 14th in Denver, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement:
“It’s about time Walmart figured out that America’s workers are the most qualified and the best skilled at getting the job done. For decades, Walmart has led the charge on outsourcing and a global race to the bottom.
But workers will not benefit from a Walmart-ification of our manufacturing sector. Jobs in the Walmart model won’t restore America’s middle class or build shared prosperity given the company’s obsession with low labor costs and undermining American labor standards. And the company’s ‘commitment’ to American manufacturing is meaningless unless it actually increases the proportion of its products that are American-made.
This initiative seems like an attempt to change the conversation from the need for Walmart to improve jobs for its 1.4 million retail workers in the United States. If Walmart is truly committed to rebuilding the American middle class, it can start with its own workers, most of whom make less than $25,000/year and struggle to make ends meet.
Walmart should use its two-day summit to prove the company is committed to real and substantive change and an end to corporate whitewashing.”