Former Clinton operative and one-time labor secretary Robert Reich slammed the Obama White House for working with retail giant Walmart on a new climate change campaign.
Titling his post “DEPARTMENT OF ILL-ADVISED PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES,” Reich slammed Obama for working with a company that has famously resisted unionization. Reich insisted that Walmart is one of the nation’s “worst employers” and said the company discriminated against women.
“What numbskull in the White House arranged this?” Reich demanded to know.
The former labor secretary was responding to an announcement by the White House that Obama would visit a Walmart store in Mountain View, California, to celebrate the company’s work at increasing its energy efficiency. The Presidential visit occurred May 9.
“Walmart may be one of the retail industry’s leaders in the use of renewable energy in its stores, but its greenhouse emissions grew 2 percent last year to nearly half a million metric tons, and it lags badly behind other large companies on renewable power, with only 3 percent of electricity from these sources,” Reich said.
“Obama should use this opportunity not to praise Walmart but to condemn it for its irresponsible labor practices,” Reich concluded, “to call for it to allow its workers to unionize, and meet with Walmart workers to hear first-hand about how they’re treated.”
Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg disagreed with Reich’s claims.
“He’s certainly been on record talking about Walmart for a long time,” Lundberg told The Huffington Post. “There’s very little in those comments that’s accurate.”
Neither Reich nor Lundberg noted, though, that Walmart is one of the nation’s leading corporations in charitable giving. In 2012, the corporation donated $311,607,280 which figures out to be 4.5% of its profits.
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