Not really. But a press release on the matter did raise our eyebrows for a moment or two, until we checked our calendars.
The Working Families Party and Wal-Mart today announced an unexpected agreement that will establish the Wall Street behemoth as the WFP’s first-ever Corporate Sponsor.
“This is a win-win,” said analyst Richard Morarless, an analyst at First Boston who follows retail stocks. “This lets the WFP make some friends in the corporate world, where they are not exactly beloved. And Wal-Mart gets to burnish its credentials as pro-working class at a time when it is getting hammered everywhere as an anti-worker, anti-women outfit.”
The details of the agreement have not been released, but sources suggest that the WFP will change its name to the “Wal-Mart Families Party” in return for Wal-Mart’s agreement to (1) abide by all wage and hour and anti-discrimination laws for male and female employees alike; (2) to establish paid family leave and sick time for its million-plus employees, and (3) to inform all employees that the law of the land is to encourage collective bargaining between workers and their employers. “Everyday Low Prices” will be modified in Texas and Florida to now read: “Everyday Low Prices, and No Retaliation.”
“No deal is perfect,” says WFP Executive Director Dan Cantor. “But we get to keep the same initials, and if this is what it takes to convince them to stop stealing from their workers and to stop destroying so many small businesses, then it’s worth it.”
A high level Wal-Mart executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the company’s decision to align itself with the progressive-minded political party actually made sense. “The Working Families brand doesn’t look like a great fit with Wal-Mart at first glance,” said the executive. “But their credibility with everyday New Yorkers will help us as we try to open stores in New York City against the misinformed opposition of labor unions and the City Council. We are counting on them to change their long-held views and abandon any prior commitments to fair play and equality.
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