Laura Karr, Campaigns Intern, International Labor Rights Forum
SIGN UP FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST SUPERMARKETS AND BIG BOX RETAILERS ON NOVEMBER 17TH!
This Saturday, activist groups, community organizations and concerned individuals around the world will raise a collective voice against the destructive policies of chain supermarkets and big box retailers. This International Day of Action is bringing together groups fromArgentina to Belgium and issue areas from environmental protection to the continued viability of local economies in order to take on a single common enemy: Chains, big box stores and the destructive effects that they leave in their wake.
Years of research studies and the personal experiences of affected communities have clearly demonstrated that large supermarkets and big box stores are bad for communities, workers and the environment. The continued expansion of large-scale retail outlets leads to the closure of local businesses and the destruction of more jobs than the new stores create. The profits that the big box corporations earn from their new market share get funneled straight to their national headquarters, rather than staying in communities to help infrastructure and local public programs grow.
The big boxes source their products from known sweatshop factories and fields, and have proven to be unwilling to change their policies in order to respect workers’ rights. A new report from ILRF has recently shown Wal-Mart’s involvement in child labor and sweatshop factories in China. Chain supermarkets and big boxes are also bad for American workers. Few employees of these stores receive a living wage, and the corporations are known to frequently employ union-crushing tactics in blatant opposition of workers’ right to organize.
The big boxes’ environmental records don’t hold up to scrutiny, either. The companies have shown a disturbing lack of concern for environmental protection at their production sites, and their need to distribute products over a large geographical area means that they leave a similarly large carbon footprint wherever they expand. In short, big boxes are bad for business, bad for people and bad for the world around us!
In response, people around the world are taking a stand. November 17th will see a parade in Salt Lake City, a letter-writing campaign in London, film screenings in Argentina and other exciting, dynamic chances for people to educate themselves on these important issues and to let the big box corporations know how they feel. It doesn’t have to stop there, however: There’s still a chance for ILRF supporters to get involve.
1. Download anti-Wal-Mart postcards that you can give to family,
neighbors or even your local Wal-Mart shoppers at (color)
2. Emergency Contraception Action at Wal-Mart sponsored by the National Organization for Women. Download action materials at www.now.org/issues/wfw/walmart_bigboxday_main.html.
3. Host a movie night and order a copy of "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of a Low Price” at .
4. Deliver a letter to Wal-Mart in support of sweatshop workers in the Dominican Republic. Sign up at http://www.unionvoice.org/laborrights/events/nov17/details.tcl.
5. Quarantine Wal-Mart is a fun action that is sure to bring media attention. A Quarantine Action Kit includes all the hazmat suits, caution tape and other props you will need to quarantine the Wal-Mart in your neighborhood.
Click here to visit the Day of Action website, learn more, and sign up to make your voice heard!