Thursday, June 5, 2008

Are the Wal-Mart battles over?

Unions have waged an aggressive anti-Wal-Mart PR campaign since 2005, designed to gain bargaining concessions. Now it appears that both sides are dismantling their PR machines.

Much like a political campaign after Election Day, the groups have reduced their staffs. Wal-Mart Watch, which once had 40 workers, now has 10. had up to 12 workers, but has about 6 today. And its aggressive founders, the former political operatives Paul Blank and Chris Kofinis, left in 2007. ...

But Mr. Nassar and Ms. Scott acknowledge that the appetite for criticism of Wal-Mart, which seemed insatiable at first, has waned, especially in the news media. "There has been a certain amount of fatigue about writing the Wal-Mart-is-bad story," said Mr. Nassar. Ms. Scott described "a cooling down of the Wal-Mart story."

But who won the war?
"I don't think there has been significant progress," ... Wal-Mart ... still requires workers to meet deductibles ranging from $700 to $4,000 a year for their health insurance. And most workers earn less than $20,000 a year.

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