So, I see our president, Randi Weingarten, president of our 1.6-million member American Federation of Teachers union, bragging that they helped Hillary Clinton win Nevada.
Listen. Teacher unions have a few mantras. If you have ever been involved in one, you know. Fight charter schools. Fight against tying test scores to contracts. Fight against privatization.
Who are they fighting? Big corporations, like, um … Walmart.
Oh yea. Walmart and unions … not friends.
Who is our teacher union leadership running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to get elected to President of the United States?
Ward Harkavy, Village Voice, 2000 – Twice in three days last week, Hillary Rodham Clinton basked in the adulation of cheering unions . . . They would have dropped their forks if they had heard that Hillary served for six years on the board of the dreaded Wal-Mart, a union-busting behemoth. If they had learned the details of her friendship with Wal-Mart, they might have lost their lunches. . .
As she was leaving the dais, she ignored a reporter’s question about Wal-Mart, and she ignored it again when she strode by reporters in the hotel lobby.
But there are questions. In 1986, when Hillary was first lady of Arkansas, she was put on the board of Wal-Mart. Officials at the time said she wasn’t filling a vacancy. In May 1992, as Hubby’s presidential campaign heated up, she resigned from the board of Wal-Mart. Company officials said at the time that they weren’t going to fill her vacancy.
So what the hell was she doing on the Wal-Mart board? According to press accounts at the time, she was a show horse at the company’s annual meetings when founder Sam Walton bused in cheering throngs to celebrate his non-union empire, which is headquartered in Arkansas, one of the country’s poorest states. According to published reports, she was placed in charge of the company’s “green” program to protect the environment.
But nobody got greener than Sam Walton and his family. For several years in the ’80s, he was judged the richest man in America by Forbes magazine; his fortune zoomed into the billions until he split it up among relatives. It’s no surprise that Hillary is a strong supporter of free trade with China. Wal-Mart, despite its “Buy American” advertising campaign, is the single largest U.S. importer, and half of its imports come from China.
Was Hillary the voice of conscience on the board for American and foreign workers? Contemporary accounts make no mention of that. They do describe her as a “corporate litigator” in those days, and they mention, speaking of environmental matters, that she also served on the board of Lafarge, a company that, according to a press account, once burned hazardous fuels to run its cement plants. . .
And the Clintons depended on Wal-Mart’s largesse not only for Hillary’s regular payments as a board member but for travel expenses on Wal-Mart planes and for heavy campaign contributions to Bill’s campaigns there and nationally. . .
Lisa Featherstone, Nation 2005– Unlike so many horrible things, Wal-Mart cannot be blamed on George W. Bush. The Arkansas-based company prospered under the state’s native son Bill Clinton when he was governor and President. Sam Walton and his wife, Helen, were close to the Clintons, and for several years Hillary Clinton, whose law firm represented Wal-Mart, served on the company’s board of directors. Bill Clinton’s “welfare reform” has provided Wal-Mart with a ready workforce of women who have no choice but to accept its poverty wages and discriminatory policies.
Just read this from today’s edition of USA Today and ask yourself … why did our union leadership jump to endorse Hillary Clinton ?
First, some background. Clinton was a director at Wal-Mart from 1986-1992, a time of rapid growth for the company. From 1986-1991, Wal-Mart created 230,000 jobs, more than any other firm in the country. The company grew quickly because it was wildly profitable and it was wildly profitable because it obsessively managed expenses. Cost management was vital to Walmart because, like most retailers, its profit margin — the amount of profit a business makes on each dollar in sales— is notoriously thin. For every dollar in sales Walmart makes, the company pockets just about three cents in profit.
Of course, then, as now, Walmart’s biggest cost was labor. And to keep labor costs in check, Wal-Mart took pains to make sure its workers didn’t unionize. During Clinton’s tenure, the company’s strategy for dealing with organized labor was directed by fellow board member, John Tate. Mr. Tate famously summed up his philosophy at a 2004 managers meeting: “Labor unions are nothing but blood-sucking parasites living off the productive labor of people who work for a living.”
According to former board members, Clinton did not denounce the ‘anti-union’ efforts Tate spearheaded, nor rail for increased employee wages. Donald G. Soderquist, the board’s then vice chairman, has said that not only was Clinton “not a dissenter,” but that “she was a part of those decisions.” Wal-Mart’s stock rose by more than 500%during her tenure and Clinton’s shares were worth nearly $100,000 by 1992.
Clinton’s Wal-Mart tenure not only not only raises the issue of hypocrisy, but it makes one question whether she even believes in her own policy prescriptions.
Whose interests are our teacher union leaders representing?
Maybe they should have polled more than 2% of members before endorsing. #JustSaying
Wake. Up. Members. Wake. Up. Voters. #WithAQuickness
Ms. Weingarten suggested that some of the blame for confusion about the level of labor support for Mrs. Clinton resided with the A.F.L.-C.I.O
Pitting us against AFL- CIO?
Choosing Hillary over solidarity? That’s low…
The reason folks doubt support your endorsement of Hillary is
because you endorsed without even asking.