So Elton John is playing a concert this week as part of the star-studded Walmart annual festival of extravagance shareholders’ meeting. What brings the Rocket Man to Northwest Arkansas? Other than whatever it is he is getting paid to perform, it might have been the influence of his BFF Michele Burns, an outgoing Walmart director.
After the Walmart annual meeting in June, three of the company’s directors will be stepping down from their positions. The exit of Jim Breyer, Michele Burns, and Arne Sorenson will leave Walmart’s Board of Directors will be even weaker and more compromised than it already was.
Failures of Internal Oversight: Massive Scandal Exposed; Federal Investigation Continues
WALMART IN 2012:
This year, thousands of activists stood up to the Walmart 1% across the country. It was a busy year for the one percent—and for the rest of us. There was the news of alleged bribery and corruption in Mexico, Walmart leaving ALEC under pressure from the public (here’s hoping the Walton Family Foundation follows their lead next year), forced labor at Walmart suppliers, warehouse worker strikes, and a Black Friday to remember when Walmart associates went on strike over the company’s retaliation and attempts to silence those who spoke out for improvements on the job.
With the Wimbledon finals coming up this weekend, let’s kick off this week’s installment of the Six Degrees of the Walmart 1% with a tennis star.
In early June, guest workers at Walmart supplier CJ’s Seafood in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana went on strike to protest alleged forced labor, unpaid labor, and intimidation—including threatened violence—at their job. The workers report that their employer and supervisors “forced them to work up to 24‐hour shifts with no overtime pay, locked them in the plant, threatened them with beatings to make them work faster, and threatened violence against their families back in Mexico after workers contacted law enforcement out of desperation.”
As Walmart prepares for its shareholder meeting next Friday, June 1, several members of the Walmart 1 Percent were confronted this week by Walmart workers and their allies. Members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) visited Walmart US CEO Bill Simon, Walmart Board Member Michele Burns, and Walmart Board Nominee Marissa Mayer.