The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Labor Groups Launch Web Campaign to Change Wal-Mart

by Dave Reynolds

Apr. 28, 2005 – After 20 years of trying unsuccessfully to organize Wal-Mart workers in North America, union leaders are taking a new approach, designed to put pressure on the giant retailer from the grassroots on up.

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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) has taken the lead in launching the "Wake Up Wal-Mart" campaign with the help of Paul Blank, who was national political director for the 2004 Howard Dean presidential campaign, seen as a new model for technology-based political organizing.

Blank told the Houston Chronicle that UFCW is branching out from traditional in-store organizing to more broad-based efforts to gain support from other Americans who want changes at Wal-Mart.

In its first few weeks, the campaign has signed up more than 40,000 supporters through its Web site. Those include community activists concerned about the store’s impact on local businesses; environmentalists, who say the retail giant leaves an extraordinarily large "ecological footprint"; and store employees who want the company to increase wages and provide benefits.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Dave Reynolds is a contributing journalist.

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