Beyond The Wal Campaign

Beyond the Wal demonstration a huge success. Over 50 people showed up on Saturday, June 25, 2005 across from the Roeland Park Walmart to speak out against Walmart's myriad practices of unfairness. The sidewalk across from the Roeland Park Walmart was filled with many signs expressing the displeasure of the 50+ people who were there to speak out against the 'Walmartization' of the nation. Speakers included: Dr. Ron Faust; Vicki Walker; Herb Dicus; Jon Matthew; and Charles Carney, plus others who offered comments at the open mike.

The event was sponsored by the Kansas City Chapter of Reclaim Democracy in conjunction with several union locals.

Speakers cited disparity in wages between men and women doing the same job, Walmart's staunch anti-union practices, and Walmart's inadequate wages and benefits, which result in increased burden to taxpayers in the form of housing subsidies health care and other poverty programs. The demonstration helped to expose the hidden cost of Walmart, citing that for every 200 employee Walmart store, over $420,000 worth of federal taxes are passed onto taxpayers. The demonstrators felt that Walmart should not be the recipeint of such corporate welfare, since it pocketed profits to the tune of $10.27 billion last year.

Jon Matthew, Vice President of Reclaim Democracy, and organizer of the 'Beyond the Wal' campaign, said "Walmart claims that market forces determine its wages, but Costco pays its workers $16.00 an hour on average. Walmart workers earn, on average, $6.32 an hour less than Costco workers. Also, only 48% of Walmart's workers are covered by company health insurance, but Costco covers 82% of its employees."

The demonstrators were met with supportive honks from those driving by, and the traffic light provided a great opportunity for activists to get information into the hands of passing motorists. Some motorists even stopped to join the demonstration.