I'm watching Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price right now. I realize that the documentary is not holding back on any sort of bias or perspective, being very clear that Wal-Mart is a company that is terrible to its employees, environmentally unsound, and participates in slave labor. It is a disturbing movie. I'd already read some books and formed some opinions about the company in college and early on in my return to Warrenton. That being said, occasionally I've shopped at the store for certain types of products, mainly, deodorant, toothbrushes, boxers, white t-shirts, the very basic stuff. But after watching this documentary, I really don't think that I can shop there at all.
You see I've always been torn...because I've known and know people who work there, and on one side, I'd hate for them to lose their jobs, especially if I encouraged them to develop a union, or advocate for fair wages. Yet at the same time, the injustice experienced in the U.S. by employees, and perhaps more importantly, the suffering of those working in sweat shops and poor working conditions and wages in places like Bangladesh and China is absolutely horrible. And let's not forget the local and independent stores that have been affected by Wal-Mart opening up in our town.
So, on one side, I think that not shopping there is really important, yet at the same time, how might Christian communities be prepared to help the employees of those stores find other jobs?
Also, what would we do if the Walton family was not prepared for the apocalypse with their bomb shelter that they've built in reaction to 9/11?
Anyone been involved in helping change the practices in their town of Wal-Mart?