Canada's Leading Retail Union Calls for "Reality Check" as Walmart Orchestrates Pep Rally for International Workers

TORONTO, ONTARIO - May 31, 2012 - The national leader of Canada's largest private-sector union, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Canada), is calling for a "reality check" after Walmart held a pep rally yesterday for international workers in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

"It's no secret that Walmart is banking on its international division for any future growth," says Wayne Hanley, the national president of UFCW Canada, Canada's leading retail workers' union. "The big problem is that more and more people around the world are looking at Walmart's behaviour in a growing number of countries - including Mexico and Canada - and they're saying 'no' to welcoming a company that tramples on their national values, laws and rights," adds Hanley making reference to Walmart's recently reported bribery cover-up scandal in Mexico and the retailer's long, shameless history of disregarding association rights in Canada.

"The bribery cover-up scandal reported in the New York Times is the latest evidence of Walmart's culture of lawlessness that dominates the highest levels of the company's leadership," says Hanley. "Instead of holding a 'pep rally' for international workers, it's time to have a reality check that includes a long, hard look at Walmart's global behaviour and what that means for the short and long-term well-being of the business. To have any credibility and future in markets around the world, it's really incumbent upon Walmart's many shareholders to demand that the retailer's leadership make itself accountable to customers, investors, workers and the communities where it operates or wants to operate, including Canada. Right now, Walmart is not the type of company people around the world want or need."

Yesterday's pep rally for international Associates happened as major Walmart shareholders, including Walmart associates who own Walmart stock, and advisory groups meet in Arkansas for the company's annual shareholders' meeting. A growing number of those shareholders are calling for the removal of key Walmart board members and new transparency on executive pay through Proposal #6. Proposal #6, which calls for greater disclosure about incentive pay, was introduced by Mary Tifft, Jackie Goebel, Girshriela Green and Carlton Smith, all of whom are current Walmart Associates, with collectively over 60 years of service with the company.

"It isn't fair that Walmart's super-rich CEO and billionaire Waltons can collect huge bonuses for allegedly breaking the rules while many Walmart Associates in Canada and around the world struggle just to get by," adds Hanley. "We stand with those Associates in thinking it's time to end the double standard and make sure Walmart executives play by the same rules as the rest of us."

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Canada) is Canada's largest private-sector union and leading retail workers' union representing more than a quarter of a million workers across the country.