Wal-Mart loses trademark on smiley face

Greg sez, "In its claims for trademark infringement against an online parodist, Wal-Mart claimed that it had trademark rights in the ubiquitous yellow smiley face. Not only did Wal-Mart lose its case, the judge held it had no rights in the smiley face mark. The smiley face has been liberated!"

"This ruling shows that even the biggest company in America is subject to parody, and that trademark rights must yield to the right of free speech. This is a resounding victory for First Amendment rights and sends a clear message to big corporations that would try to use their deep pockets to intimidate and silence their critics."

(Image: K_Day-09.09.2005_163136, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from Lordcolus's Flickr stream)


  1. Good! And especially after going after that brain-damaged woman’s money, they don’t have anything to be smiling about. Or proud of, for that matter. WalMart grosses me out.

  2. I cant stand Walmart!!! Im glad there’s a judge out there That can see Walmart for what it really is. Walmart has been killing this economy. You can thank them for killing pretty much every small business. Walmart thinks they can buy everyone, and it ‘s great to see that they cant!

  3. Well after that story of them sueing the disabled woman that was a former employ to recover the medical expenses they paid for her , they should lose a lot more . Shes in a nursing home for cryin out loud , and she requires skilled care 24/7 , and cant remember anything .
    Her husband had to devorce here so she could get state help to remain in the skilled care facility.
    Walmart has done nothing but go down hill in the past few years and hopefully all the crap they are dishing out bites them in the arse someday.
    We should all stop shopping at Walmart and use our local community buisnesses , that way we dont keep supporting this retail giant thats sucking our towns dry . Keep your money at home .

  4. I agree I wish everyone would do there shopping elsewhere. Walmart is not good to the workers or anyone else.

  5. So there are still some people out there who support small town businesses. Keep it up and encourage the little fish. Wal-Mart sucks, and most of my family won’t shop there, unless they have to. Glad some people still have a little sense.

  6. Let this decision be a signpost to others who receive cease and desists from corporations trying to silence them.

  7. This is a no-brainer! Don’t we all know that Forrest Gump has the trademark on the infamous smiley face!?!

  8. Since Mr. Walton died the company has become like any other corporate American company. I don’t shop Walmart anymore. They do not pay the common employees squat, do not have sufficient training or advancement opportunities and now they want a disable employee who requires ongoing medical care to reimburse the medical they paid. 90 billion dollar profit and they sued for $477,000. Who’s bonus is that? Let the corporate officers work the stores, see if they will work for the same compensation and benefits. Oh yeah, they are too good for that. Well I guess they are too good for my money too. Shop Costco, they have better pay, better benefits and the CEO has capped his salary and he will get on the floor and work along side his employees.

  9. Stop shopping at WalMart! As a labor relations student all I learn about is how terrible WalMart treats their employees and how they get over on the customers…Did everyone forget the story of how they locked the cleaning crew in the store overnight? Support local businesses, they need it!

  10. Sam Walton had the right idea when he opened the first of the many Wal Mart stores while he was alive. Since his death the family and “big shots” have run it into the ground. I don’t care how much money they make it doesn’t make them good people. Personally I don’t know how half of them from the co-managers on up sleep at night. and so this isn’t an anonymous message…..I use to work at Wal-mart and I never will EVER again. My name is Amanda Barbo and I don’t care who sees this:)

  11. I agree WalMart has gone downhill, especially in regards to treatment of its hourly employees. I’d hesitate to blame the upper management though, as most decisions are driven by willingness to please the stockholders. Managers are just trying to cover their asses, because they have families to feed too.

    I don’t hold anything against them because I’m working for my MBA so I can make big bucks plus bonuses too. I have a family to feed. I’m glad they lost the case on the smiley face. They never HAD a trademark on it, as the headline here suggests (one has to HAVE something to LOSE it, right?)! Plus I have a big ol’ smiley (probably ganked from a Wal Mart website) on my desktop background.

  12. I read where the daughter took over control of the business after the the death of the owner, her father. It was also stated that she gives like 20% of the profits to a lesbian group to help fight for the rights of lesbians, and the rest of the family isn’t happy about it. she doesnt care about the company she is just using it for her own personal gain.

  13. They do pay the common employees benifital wages, and do have sufficient training or advancement opportunities and now they dont state anything about disable employee who requires ongoing medical care to reimburse the medical they paid. I work at a wal-mart and what you say about it is not true. The pay is great and the benefits are to, they also have lots of opportunities for advancesment and more education if needed. I am also a college student. Dont say things you know nothing about, hince you are not a walmart employee so you know none of the benefits or opportunitites.

  14. Wow I just saw the video about the disabled woman being sued on aol video and that has to be the saddest story I’ve ever heard. All that stuff happened to her then her son dies after two weeks in Iraq!!! and she doesn’t even remember it!! I’m never shopping at Wal-mart again, because thats just terrible.

  15. Wal-Mart is an offal place to work at.I should know i work there.No pay benefits suck.I cant wait to leave.I cant do it now though cuz i need the money and no other place is hiring i checked.

  16. Hurray!!..Ever since I saw where Wal-mart was suing that lady that was involved in that wreck with the 18 wheeler. Wal-Mart has left a bad taste in my mouth. Sam Walton would be rolling in his grave if he knew his business was being run like a low rate Mafia!!

  17. Yes, some Wal-Marts do pay their employees properly, and no, not all of Wal-Mart is an over-arching evil that needs to be destroyed. However, Wal-Mart does have a tendency to move into areas with Mom and Pop shops(small businesses, for those unfamiliar with the term), and take away all of their business, knowing full well ahead of time that they’re going to put hardworking people out of their lifelong careers. And often for products that, while cheaper, are inferior in quality. To top it off, frequently Wal-Marts do not have enough employees to service their customers, so the wait is abysmally long, and many of the stores do not stay even remotely clean. Given the choice, I’ll gladly drive a good distance further to get to a Kroger or Meijer, if at all possible. The fact that the company allowed themselves to sue a disabled woman for $470,000 in medical expenses that they had no right to(contract or no contract), when they made over $10 billion in profit last year, shows that whomever is running the company has a warped sense of right and wrong.

  18. Wallmart is the weed of your community. It will grow big and strong and take everything for itself leaving behind nothing but a broke and poverty stricken surrounding area. They dont care about you so boycott wallyworld :(.

  19. If you are a college student, I am embarrassed! Look at your post….I see nearly a dozen corrections that need to be made to make sense out of your argument!

  20. I have worked for Wal-Mart for 7 years. I agree that it is not the company it once was. I agree that after Mr. Walton’s death it was taken over by the “Suits”. Last time I read anything about it, all the people who worked as Mr. Walton worked-quit. That says a lot to me. The store that I worked at had a paper goods department that “turned” 73 times a month, which means we sold out twice a day. As you can imagine we were very busy. Our store employed 110 people, payroll being based on the store’s sales. After Mr. Walton passed away, the payroll determination policy was changed to how much square feet a store had. We were reduced to 73 employees. Now, the store is always cluttered, more products run out, no help is available for the shopper, pallets sit out on the sales floor, there are never enough cashiers. So, yes, things have changed. However, I don’t buy into the “They’re evil! Don’t shop there!” mentality. We had a lot of small stores, that didn’t offer any service, were rude to customers and had very little selection. So, Wal-Mart was a great addition. But they have left their roots of serving the customer to serving the bottom line at the expense of the customer and I think that’s sad. They were a great example of American business before that change. Eventually, another business is going to start offering fully staffed stores who treat the customer and it’s employees with respect and dedication. Then Wal-Mart will go the way of Woolworths, Nichols and a dozen other fallen retailers. ~shrugs~ I wish they’d just wise up.

  21. I understand that Wal-Mart might hold tempting opportunities for college students and other semi-dependent individuals…but the average wages and benefits provided by Wal-Mart are not enough to keep a typical family of 4 off of welfare. I am not an extravagant individual (I drive an ’86 Subaru), but while I was employed at Wal-Mart, I could not even support my wife and I on my wages alone, let alone swing the $396 monthly required to obtain their wonderful ‘benefits’. Until you have a family to support and aren’t just working for spending money in college, Wal-Mart does seem like a good place to work.

  22. I worked for Wal-Mart for 3 years and my husband has worked for them for going on 10 years. No they do not pay great. My husband was making $8.80 an hour after 8 years and I went to Lowes and made that starting out. He finally had to transfer to the Distribution Center just so we could make ends meet. Oh and the beneifits suck too.

  23. target is way better. walmart has always sucked and always will. i completely agree with JHKH.

  24. Well – it serves them right. Walmart is a nasty dirty store, with super cheap merchandise. I can’t stand stepping foot in there! The Smiley Logo has been around for years – way longer than Walfart has!

  25. BCW20,

    You must work at a decent Wal-Mart then! I too worked at a Wal-Mart and I am here to tell you that they do not give a crap about their employees! It is all about the almighty dollar to them. I needed time off due to complications with my pregnancy and I was given one of two options: quit or be fired! Way to go Wal-Mart.

  26. I am going to guess that walmart will come out with a new, trademark-able mascot in the near future. Since they can’t squelch criticism by becoming a better company, they’ll do it by legal means. Of course the issue that’s most galling for them is the parody. But they’ll keep throwing lawsuits hoping to cower the opposition.

  27. I worked for Wal-Mart for 5 years. They do not pay well. I started out at $5.50 an hour. And after 5 years I was at $9.00. I don’t know how much over time I was Screwed out of. Making me work off the clock. Sounds like a top notch company to me. I think Wal-Mart owes the comunitees they are in. Starting with the ladies medical bills. When I quit Wal-Mart I went to work for a lumber company stacking boards starting out at $9.oo an hour and the company paying 100% of my insurance. If they can do that Wal-Mart can do a little better.a

  28. bcw20 i have seen first hand how dirty they are.i worked for them till i had a bad motorcycle accident.and was let go.im glad people are standing up to them.as i did .

  29. ” #11 posted by bcw20 , March 28, 2008 7:16 AM

    They do pay the common employees benifital wages, and do have sufficient training or advancement …”

    It’s obvious BCW20 from your spelling that you didn’t do well in middle school or high school. Therefore, I’m not surprised you’re working at Walmart. I know a mentally challenged person who had worked diligently through her probation period at a Walmart and tried to get health insurance since she was working the requisite hours. What did Walmart do? They cut her hours in half so she wouldn’t qualify.

    I also recognized a person working at a local Walmart whose picture and information was listed on the local registered sex offenders website.
    You just keep expounding the virtues of Walmart and stock dog food or whatever you do.

  30. Well, I am a vendor for a Wal-Mart store and I have been on the other side and worked for Wal-Mart too. I worked there when it was still owned by Mr. Walton. It was a great place to work, but not now. The cashiers are treated badly, the customers are only used for their money, and the vendors are treated like scum on the earth. It’s all about money now, not customer service. I also hope and pray that the woman that they sued gets more from life in her state she’s in than Wal-Mart will ever have. God be with her and her family.

  31. 18 billion dollars would buy a a lot of lesbians. Can it be so?


    From 2002 through 2006, Wal-Mart received steadily increasing scores on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, a measure of how companies treat LGBT employees and customers. The company’s rating increased from 14% in 2002 to 43% in 2004, due to an expanded antidiscrimination policy to protect gay and lesbian employees.[97] The score increased to 57% in 2005, because of the company’s new definition of family that included same-sex partners,[98] and increased again in 2006 to a high of 65%.[99] However, the rating for the 2008 edition dropped back to 40%, attributable to losses in two key areas: not renewing its membership in the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (which it joined in 2006), and a discrepancy from last year’s study that was discovered in this year’s answers and resulted in another 10-point loss (by comparison, Target scored 80% and Kmart 100%). As a result of the 40% rating, HRC encouraged consumers to “strongly consider other [shopping] options.”

    As for the smiley face, everyone knows or visage souriant is the house arms of Ogrek the Undisciplined. Wal-Mart never stood a chance.

  32. I am one of the many who used to work for Wal-Mart. When I signed on they said after 90 days that they would roll you over to full time status. That never happened. According to the higher ups who ran the store and according to company policy, full time meant anything over 35 hours. They claim to be family friendly but again that is not the case. I missed out on alot with my two boys because I had to work every weekend and odd hours during the week. And forget taking the day off if your child became sick! You were instructed if you wanted to keep your job find someone else to take care of them for the day. Not to mention the insurance policy. It’s only offered to full time employees and good luck becoming one of them. When I hired on, they had said that they offered good pay and a pay raise after 90 days. I made $6.15 an hr and after 90 days that was bumped to $6.75. Needless to say I left in search of a better job. They don’t keep promises, not to mention if someone in a higher up position(store manager) doesn’t like you, you are given the option of quitting or being transfered. I am forced to shop there now because unfortunately Wal-Mart is the only game in town. It’s sad that that is the way of things now. No one else could compete with them so they had to close up shop.

  33. Listen up NYTEEXODUS …It’s not all about “how they treat customers” when they are in store, or how great their pricing is. They are EVIL because of what they have done to the payscale of countries all over the world, especially AMERICA. They are evil because they have helped make lead in our toys, and poisoned dog food a way of life.
    Companies conatantly are trying to survive in the Walmart era by short cuts which endanger all of us. Wal Mart’s pressures on firms cause them to degrade quality for cost, and hurt the USA’s manufacturing sector like no other company in history. They have done permanent damage to our economy, and are the model for anti-american, anti-worker (internationally)
    corporate greed. It’s people like you you can’t see the big picture and work/shop there for the short term quick fix. Please realize what the LONG TERM effects are. I literally could go on for hours with specific examples of HOW evil they are, but I hope you get my general point.Save now….but cry later.

  34. @BCW20: Mal-wart’s shabby treatment of their employees is well-documented. And of course you’re not going to hear them talk about the Debbie Shank case. But since you don’t seem to know about it, here’s the story on CNN:


  35. I do not believe a college student can truly make a sound judgment concerning the pay at Wal-mart.
    Walmart says:
    ‘its average hourly pay for full-time employees is $10.11.’
    at 40 hours a week, that translates to about $21,000/year. That may be great for younger people who are living at home or on a college campus, eating at a dorm or at home; However that’s not a very livable wage when trying to pay for a home, and raise family. Not to even mention health insurance. I think Walmart is okay for part-time works, and college students; but one of the U.S.’s largest employers (if not the largest), Walmart is rather lacking in pay.
    Meanwhile, Walmart IS suing a disabled woman to recover the money they paid for medical expenses. While it make good business sense, it make for a horrible moral sense. The woman cannot even pay her bills currently, and Walmart wants to take all thats left.


  37. Lannie,

    You have certain legal rights with regards to medical leave, especially with a pregnancy. It is your responsibility to know those rights. You should have gone to Human Resources to discuss the process to get leave to deal with your complications. The manager you spoke with probably doesn’t know a thing about HR.

  38. There is a French guy, Nicolas Loufrani, also involved in a lawsuit against Walmart over the Smileyface. He accuses Walmart of infringing on his copyright of the symbol, which he claims to have invented to promote a French newspaper in the 1960s.

    Here’s a story I wrote about it a couple years ago for The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune.

    Anyone have an update on the Loufrani case?

    Thomas Crampton

  39. I have always felt the smiley face was to be a free to use for anyone. Shucks even in the first grade, the first face you learn to draw is a smiley face. Really no company should have it as a trademark.

  40. For everyone who is saying that the pay and benefits are horrible, consider EVERY OTHER retailer! I have worked with many many retailers and have never made over $8 an hour or had benefits. Even if offered full-time at the time I was hired in, I never was given enough hours. So, I’m pretty sure it’s not JUST Wal*Mart, but every greedy retailing corporation. If you’re life-long goal is just to work in any retail store, without being a manager, good luck with getting a decent pay. Currently I work for a grocery chain which is quite popular in the the Midwest and both my husband and I are getting out ASAP. We do not work for WalMart or Sam’s Club and they treat us like crap, pay minimum wage or a little bit over and screw everyone on hours! So wake up, and realize it’s just corporate America at work!

  41. #8 et. al.: It’s all well and good to say we should shop Costco instead. But now that WalMart has eradicated small groceries in many neighborhoods, some of us in rural areas which can only sustain one big megastore can only choose between small, high-end botique stores and WalMart. Going elsewhere isn’t realistic. Fighting the power is the only way to stay solvent and local.

    #18: I’m no WalMart supporter, and I’m certainly not a supporter of sex offenders, but I have to take severe exception to anyone using “saw a registered sex offender working there” as evidence for the evilness (evility?) of the empire.

    Sex offenders have a right to work. Walmart is a big, public store where such a worker can at least be visible as they perform their duties. Reluctant kudos to Walmart for providing a relatively safe space for people who need to work, but are limited in their choices for doing so.

  42. You huppies need to stop knocking walmart down. They are the cheapest and best place to shop in this whole country. So keep your mouths shut and shop at your richie rich huppy store

  43. A lot of companies use little symbols. Sorry, but how is using a smiley face a bad thing? Everyone uses smily faces, in email, businesses, etc… Yes, they may not own the trademark, but should they really have to stop using it? I don’t think so. Sure, many will disagree with that, but honestly is their use of the smiley face really hurting anyone?? Be serious. Sorry, but where I live if you don’t shop at WalMart, you get ripped off as it is a high tourist area and all the other stores focus on the high dollar.

  44. All those links is properganda. Wal-Mart is the best and all of you are just jealous! And by the way, I dont stock dog food, I work in linens which is way better than most of your guy’s lousey jobs!

  45. It’s about time somebody in government took a stand against corporate greed.

    Wal-Mart did not invent the smiley face and has no rights to it. They saw it, decided they wanted it, and tried to use their huge legal department to simply steal it.

    Gateway (the computer company) used a similar tactic to attempt to obtain the gateway.com domain name. It had been registered by a small computer/network consultant on the east coast since the late 1980s. “Gateway” is a common term in computer networking, so it’s not like the guy had registered cocacola.com or something that’s definitely a trademark. But Gateway wanted it, and was willing to use their army of lawyers to try to take it away from the legitimate owner. When the court sided with the owner, Gateway cut a deal with him for the name.

    This is why I will never buy a Gateway product. If they’ll try to out-and-out steal someone else’s property, what makes anyone think they’ll treat their customers fairly?

  46. To bcw20 and all Pro Wal-Mart readers,

    I’d like to mention first off that you don’t have to be an employee of Wal-Mart to know something about their business. Your employment there does not grant you special access to privileged information that is not readily available to the general public, so for you to request for someone not to speak of a topic because they lack the information to pose an argument is childish and naïve. Next, I’d like to point out that just because you are enjoying your job there does not mean that Wal-Mart is a good Company. There are plenty of people like yourself, namely college students who can afford to work for low wages and poor healthcare and think it’s great because they ether still live with their parents or are still being supported by them to some degree. Statistically, there are more current or former employees that did not enjoy working for Wal-Mart than there is who do. Even this forum proves that fact. Here are some sources, one from the CEO himself that back this argument.

    “In an interview with CEO Lee Scott, Faber asks him whether he believes any of Wal-Mart’s opponents — neighborhood preservationists, union leaders or anyone else — might have a point.
    How about Wal-Mart’s notoriously low contributions toward health insurance for its workers? Would folksy founder Sam Walton approve?
    Well, says Scott, its one more way to keep prices low. And, he adds brightly, many employees are covered by Medicare or Medicaid.”
    I’d like to point out that Medicare and Medicaid are usually needed by low income families. If Wal-Mart paid well, those employees would not qualify for those healthcare companies.

  47. I’ve worked for Wal-Mart for over 8 years. When I hired in, I was a full time employee, and worked 40+ hours for almost 6 years. Then, in a act of total clumsiness on my part, I was injured. I had fractured my wrist and torn my rotator cuff. I was in a sling and on pain medication, but I still got out of bed and went to work. They let me work like that for 4 days, just long enough to get through the day after Thanksgiving sale. Then on Saturday morning, I was called into the managers office and was sent on administrative leave unil I could get my doctor to fill out the paperwork for medical leave. Wal-mart said they were not willing to take the risk of me further injuring myself while on the job, thus making them liable for any medical expenses. So, I was forced on medical leave. I had 2 weeks of vacation time, that I had been saving, but was forced to use. Then I was paid short term disability, which was 50% of my regular income. I was not allowed to get a part time job to make ends meet while I was on leave. Eventually, after struggling to survive for over a year, my doctor finally cleared me as 100% healthy, and I was able to return to work. When I went in to turn in the paperwork and get my schedule, I was informed that since I was gone for longer than 12 weeks, they didn’t have to give me my old job back, which had already been filled. But, if I wanted, I could fill another position. At that point, they only had part-time jobs available. So now, 2 years later, I’m still stuck working part-time, because they’re only hiring part-time now. I think someone realized that if you only have a part-time staff, you don’t have to lose any money paying beneifts.
    So, after 8 years of dedicated service, I’m stuck in a part-time, benefitless position that I hate, making $8.75 an hour. They can’t pay us, they can’t give us decent benefits but they can afford to go to court to sue about smiley faces, and old women in nursing homes.
    One more thing, having Wal-Mart on your resume does not make it easy to get a new job. I had one guy tell me that he would have hired me, if I had had some recent work experience. When I mentioned that I had been continuously employed since I was 16 years old, his response was, “Yeah, but Wal-mart doesn’t count. I meant REAL work experience.” :(

  48. One thing I’m not clear on about the Shank case is why she should double-dip? Why should both WalMart and GEM Transportation (the people actually at fault) pay for the same accident?

    Why should WalMart suffer when GEM Transportation caused the injury? GEM is the party who should be paying for her care. It’s not WalMart’s fault if Shank didn’t recover the appropriate amount from GEM Transportation.

    Which, incidentally, hasn’t been shown–in the article, it sounds like WalMart is trying to recover $469K in medical expenses, while the Shanks recieved $736K after legal fees. There’s now supposedly only $200K to $300K left. If WalMart paid the original bills, where did $500K go?

  49. Warn Us? In order to warn us, that means Hillary would need to be in a position to do someone about it, and I pray that never happens. Not that it’s likly anyways, since she pubically lies about things to make herself look good and then when she gets caught, shrugs it off as a common mistake. Good Job Clinton Campaign, way to do your homeowrk there!

  50. Stop making the lazy rich richer BY QUITTING SHOPPING and instead joining your hometown chapter of Freecycle.org ! As long as you keep shopping at their chain stores and franchises, you are making yourselves poorer and THEM richer! Also, make no mistake about it… By continuing to shop at their chain stores and franchises, YOU are funding their future planned oil-pillaging invasions of oil-rich Iran and oil-rich Venezuela — NOT Congress! I know everyone has to eat, but you can buy all your produce from your local farmers’ markets instead of supporting their corporate mega-farms. And if you feel you must buy any NEW durable goods or dine out at a restaurant, please avoid all chain stores and franchises — and instead shop only at your local, independently-owned shops and dine only at local, family-owned diners and restaurants.

    For more insight into how the rich have manipulated us through our purchases, go to Google Video and watch the following documentaries:

    “Monopoly Men”
    “The Century of the Self”
    “911 Mysteries” (full-length version)

  51. That lady should feel blessed that she even HAD medi cal insurance that covered 100% of medical expenses! That doesn’t sound like a bad benefit to me! Wal-mart deserves that money back because
    #1 she signed a contract
    #2 the money awarded to her was to cover those medical expenses that were already covered by someone else! People are just angry because Wal-mart has money, but they shouldn’t treat her any different than anyone else.

    Let me give you a more simple example:
    You make a contract and loan your friend $50 in gas money knowing that he might get compensated for it from work. Your friend gets his paycheck with the extra $50 but instead decides that he needs the money more than YOU do because you are rich and he isn’t. Then he runs all over town telling everyone that you are greedy because you are picking on a poor person like him.

    It would be WRONG for him to keep the money. I’m sorry that everyone is getting a reality check. But our justice systems runs on legal obligations, not morality.

  52. In my former life, I worked in marketing for a large consumer products company. I often got to see how things were behind the scenes as they negotiated with Wal-Mart for ad placement, product placement, and sale prices. In essence, everyone loathed and feared Wal-Mart. The cavalier attitude that Wal-Mart would play different corporations against each other — callling and saying “well, your competitor is willing to lower their price five cents. Can you go lower?” ad infinitum — was crushing to everyone involved. They’re a terrible company that needs to feel some pain.

  53. You are all whining that you should get paid more for an uneducated job that is in nice air conditioning and benefits that pays MORE than min wage.
    My uneducated friend has been working there for 3 months and gets paid $9.80. She is 55 and knows that no one will pay better than that.
    Feel blessed for what you have, there are people out there WITHOUT jobs and people who work HARDER for less pay.
    Why should you get paid more for a job that ANYONE can do off the street? Stop making demands without doing anything. Become educated so that you can become worth more.

  54. In reference to BCW20. You must be working in one of the only Wal-Mart storess that actually pays its employees “GOOD” and offers advancement and treats their employees like they are of value. If this is the case then I applaud your Wal-Mart. But as far as Wal-Mart Super Center #1022 in Tyler, TX it is a hot mess. I worked for Wal-Mart for six years to darn long and can attest to all the negativity being posted about Wally World a.k.a. Wal-Mart. Please continue to get your education and run, not walk out of Wal-Mart as soon as you get your degree. But if it is as pleasurable as you have stated then maybe you can work your way up to assistant manager or manager and make sure that your Wal-Mart continues to be the best example for the chain.

  55. To all of the first-time posters who came out today to support your underdog Wal-Mart, welcome! Take a look around; BB is a fun site, full of Wonderful Things(TM), and though you might not agree with the content of this post or any of the comments and documentation and news links that followed, I’m sure you’ll find something to love elsewhere on the blog.

    For my part, I worked at Wal-Mart for a summer while I was still in college, and it was an experience which I shall not soon forget. The desparation I felt there, particularly on the night shift (I was working 80 hours a week that summer b/w Wal-Mart and another job), was truly heartbreaking. Not a single person I ever met was happy to be there, but the question I heard over and over was “Where else can I go?” Yes, $8/hour was better than the other options for many. Sure, not everyone there was destined to remain there forever, but certainly to suggest that just anybody can pick themselves up and start a new life from scratch is to underestimate the hurdles many people face. When you have little/no benefits nor a living wage, how the hell are you supposed to pick yourself up? The longer you stay in such a position, the deeper you go both in debt and dispair.

    I’ve managed to shop there only a few times over the past eight years (each time doing so only by necessity), but I am always filled with regret upon stepping through those doors.

    (That said, I’m not a fool and I know a deal when I see one, and for those Wallyworld champions who might be interested, it looks like the garden section of my local Wal-Mart is having a spring sale on astroturf!)

  56. I don’t know if Walmart is evil. It definitely has it’s flaws and I do believe it has a negative affect on the community. But, I have to say I shop there because I can’t afford not to. Shopping there frees up money for me to spend on other important things. I hate it but it is a double edged sword. Walmart hurts the people who work for them by making them the “working poor” but at the same time it is the only place for most people where the poor can shop and afford the food and afford those pair of shoes their child so desperately needs. So, what is the answer to this problem. I don’t know. It is the economy as a whole right now that is at the base root of the issue. If the economy would turn around then maybe the people would be able to demand more from walmart and walmart would listen. One thing I do agree upon is that walmart has some serious moral issues that they need to attend to. It is sad that one human would allow another human to struggle so much when they are making so much money. But, my comfort is that they will have to pay for it in the end. No one can do this to people and not have it effect them. Believe me when I say it will come full circle. It may take years but the universe has an uncanny way of making sure there is always a balance.

  57. You can stop making THE LAZY RICH richer if you QUIT SHOPPING and join your hometown chapter of Freecycle.org !

    As long as you keep shopping at their chain stores and franchises, YOU ARE MAKING YOURSELVES POORER while you’re making THEM richer! Also, make no mistake about it… By continuing to shop at their chain stores and franchises, YOU — NOT CONGRESS — are funding their future planned oil-pillaging invasions of oil-rich Iran and oil-rich Venezuela!

    And I know everyone has to eat, but you can buy all your produce from YOUR local farmers’ markets instead of supporting THEIR corporate mega-farms. And if you feel you must buy any NEW durable goods or dine out at a restaurant once in awhile, please at least avoid all chain stores and franchises — and instead shop ONLY at your local, independently-owned shops and dine ONLY at local, family-owned diners and restaurants.

    For more insight into how the rich have manipulated us through our purchases, go to Google Video and watch the following documentaries:

    “Monopoly Men”
    “The Century of the Self”
    “911 Mysteries” (full-length version)

  58. Now let’s see Thomas Edison’s heirs take on K-Mart for their “Blue Light” mascot.

  59. This is for EDRO2O
    You are a liar and you do not know what you are talking about. The Walmart healthcare is 1000 times better then a lot of companies would even think about offering their employees. You are most likely a pro union a**hole. So shut your mouth and and go shop at your yuppie store and waste your money. While I shop at Walmart and save a great deal of money.

  60. Takuan….www.union-network.org, scroll to the bottom, click search, type in wal-mart, and read the pages and pages of documented examples of intimidation, threats and store closings.

  61. All those links is (are) properganda (sp. propaganda). Wal-Mart is the best (,) and all of you are just jealous! And by the way, I don(‘)t stock dog food, I work in linens (,) which is way better than most of your guy’s(leave guy’s out, or make it you guys’)lousey (lousey = full of lice, I think you meant lousy) jobs!

    Overall, D+, nice job, college student.

  62. Despite all the naysayers here today, the fact is when Wal-Mart enters a community, the effect is at once positive. Wal mart provides meaningful well paid employment to unskilled workers, eliminates the high priced local retailers that have been making themselves rich at the expense of the community, and provides high quality goods and merchandise that the former local retailers did not accomodate. In smaller towns and cities across the USA Wal-Mart provides a social setting for the community. Support your local Wal-Mart.

  63. Okay, I can understand how the political issue folks flock over here when someone posts a link to one of their hot-button issues on a high traffic blog and says, “Look what those Boing Boing commenters are saying THIS time . . .”

    What I don’t get is where the “Wal-Mart is awesome” people come from, exactly. When the company is contracting people to trawl through forums and comment positively, do they really ask them to pose as retail-level employees with moderate education, and get all agitated and insult-y? And if these are real employees and customers commenting rather than paid surfers, what sort of Wal-Mart Appreciation Society web site or forum is rallying them to come over here?

  64. Good post #67 DaisyNavidson

    And to the folks that are always harpng about Wal-Fart being cheap and local stores are just ripping you off, listen to this.

    I’ve worked in retail for a while, so I have some inside experience. Wal-Mart gets things insanely cheap (stuff made in China in factories they own, etc.) They have HUGE markups. Your local mom and pop buys wholesale and has very little markup comparatively, resulting in most struggling just to stay open, especially in today’s economic climate.

    So… I submit that, considering their huge markups, Wal-Fart is the one that is ripping us off.

  65. Did they actually lose their trademark, or did they just lose the infringement suit? Thought they lost this suit because defendants successfully argued the parody defense doesn’t mean Walmart couldn’t sue another big box chain market for employing the smiley in their advertising, for instance.

  66. Interesting what an enormously high percentage of the posters in the Wal*Mart threads are either first timers or anonymous.

    Is there some plausible explanation for this besides the possibility of clustering evil sock puppets trying to preemptively drown out legitimate discourse?

  67. Hankwham,

    This is what I wrote in my earlier Msg, “I’d like to mention first off that you don’t have to be an employee of Wal-Mart to know something about their business. Your employment there does not grant you special access to privileged information that is not readily available to the general public, so for you to request for someone not to speak of a topic because they lack the information to pose an argument,is childish and naïve.”

    I’d Like to thank you for proving my point. To resort to name calling, that goes beyond childish. To accuse me of lying? What is there to lie about? I provided the source of my information, so unless you didn’t take the time to check, which I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t.

  68. I love Boing Boing. Where else could a post about a mega corp. losing a trademark turn in to a whine-fest about said mega corp. and how they run their business. I’m no friend of Walmart, but they can run their business how ever they want. People aren’t forced to work there. People are not entitled to benefits from any place they work, although it is nice to receive them of course. It’s this sense of righteous entitlement that bugs the hell out of me. Who would be dumb enough to try and raise a family working at Walmart. The people I’ve encountered who work there are generally bottom of the barrel as far as skills go. Why should a company pay people high salaries who have no skills. If you want to make more money, then get educated and work hard. Period.

  69. SADPANDA why ARE you hating? I got more education is my pinkie finger than you got in your hole body! My teachers, sure dont complain. I think you know, deep down, that Wal-Mart is a excellent, and benefital place of enployment, and you are just trying to bring down the MAN! Thats me btw (the man).

  70. #26: “However, Wal-Mart does have a tendency to move into areas with Mom and Pop shops(small businesses, for those unfamiliar with the term), and take away all of their business”

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Wal-Mart takes sales away from small businesses, especially in a smaller community. In the small town of Burkburnett, Texas (a few miles south of the Red River, near Wichita Falls, pop. 10,927), the Wal-Mart closed about six months ago, and businesses actually INCREASED their sales.

    More info here.

  71. #88 BCW20, to be clear, he’s not “hating”. He’s helpfully pointing out that any argument or point you might have is hard to take seriously, given how terrible your spelling and grammar are. (hole = whole, by the way.. and ‘benefital’ is not a word.)

  72. Svenski,
    That was a great post and you said it eloquently. People who are not in the position to make demands shouldn’t expect them.

  73. Am I the only one who thinks BCW20 is doing parody? I mean “I got more education is my pinkie finger than you got in your hole body!”??? GOT to be kidding. And “Thats me btw (the man)” just really clinches it.

    Or maybe his pinky finger is a fake one, and it opens up, and there’s a nanochip inside with the contents of all the world’s libraries.

    Now THAT would be cool. Also, he really WOULD be the man.

  74. Svenski,

    I also appauld your comment. It’s one of the better ones I’ve read today. I agree with your statement and even though I tend to learn to the support of the Anti Wal-Mart crowd, overall it makes no difference to me. I respect every ones opinion, but I find it hard to read the ignorant comments from people like BCW20 and HankWham and not respond, becuase they are so set in their opinion they they lack any trace of a real argumentative foundation. I have no affliation to Wal-Mart. I’ve never worked for them and maybe shop there on occasion. I agree that people with no marketable skills should not paid high wages, because that undermines all of us who worked hard to get to where we are. I went to college and enlisted in the military and it would irritate me to know that someone straight out of High School could make the same as me. I also agree that no one is forced to work anywhere and therefore really have no room to complain when they don’t like thier job.

    BTW-HankWham, No i am not pro union, nor have I ever worked for a Union.

  75. @Cheryl62618 – Thanks, that would certainly explain it.

    And just for the record, I’m not as paranoid as my doctors say I am. I don’t know why they make up those stories about me. :-(

  76. Yup, methinks BCW20 and HankWham are one and the same, and a troll at that.

    Saw this on Crooks & Liars, citing Countdown’s “Worst Person in the World” from last night:

    “Thursday’s Worst Person in the World on Countdown included Wal-Mart for the second day in a row. The retail giant took the bronze for unforgivably suing Deborah Shank, who was severely brain damaged after a car accident, for pretty much every penny she had. As it turns out, Shank’s son died in Iraq a week after losing the law suit and because of her severe memory lapses, she doesn’t remember that he’s dead — which means that every time she asks about him it’s as if she’s hearing it for the first time, EVERY TIME.”

  77. I used to work at Wal-Mart, worked there for just under 6 years, and I can assure you, I know their business practices. I’ve had the store manager come to me shortly after an elderly people greeter with a blown knee had his chair pulled from him. I was informed by the store manager, “The VA Disability Act of 1988 was for the employer”. Yes, he was right, it really is. I’ve also seen other cases. My sister for example, long time employee, been with the company for about 17 years. She took leave because she had breast cancer, during her rehabilitation her insurance was canceled. Now she’s back at work barely making a paycheck because she is playing catch up on her insurance payments. If this company really did treat their employees as ‘associates’, then we would never see these kinds of acts portrayed. It’s not just about the unethical practices done by management and corporate, but local, state and federal governments, too. It’s about time people band together to stop these shortcomings done to the hard working individual, and to all you ‘associates’, have fun being an corporate employee slave to the belly of the pig.

  78. I fell at Walmart. I slipped in water, where having laid there till the manager came per the staff, I realized that there was a sliver cart, and my son brought to my attention a crushed water bottle. It was actually a case. They had been stocking and had a spill and did not clean well. When I went to get water , I did a split and hurt myself badly. I had an successful operation in 1994 which included getting metal, pins and screws into my pelvic. This was from an auto-accident in which I suffered for four hellish years till I found the doctor who could fix me. I had just been to see my Neurosurgeon on July 13th. He X-rayed me about 20 shots a year to make sure all was well. I was fine. I fell August 14th 2004. Walmart’s agent called and I told her I had nothing to tell her, I had not resolved anything. She wanted to know what happened and I told her. She asked had I been hurt before and I told her that I had been in a fender-bender 2 years before and I was fine. In fact I was checked through my neurosurgeon and all was fine with that and he had made sure. My father-in-law of 25 years was dying and I was not able to go to Va to see my doctor as I could not drive. Walmarts called and again , I was having a horriblly painful day. I was very frustrated and I told her that I could not talk and she would not get off of my phone. I got a bit hysterical. She told me that they didn’t plan on helping me that I had not sent anything, which I didn’t have to at that point that they were not paying for an accident that happened before. I told her to get off of my phone and not to call me..

    I have 4 spurs, osteoarthritis , my operation is trashed, I have a bulging disk in my Thoracic spine, one in my Lumbar. I am totally disabled now.

    When she said that to me about the autoaccident I knew I would have to fight and I had to fight for me to get well. I was very depressed after having fought my way back to great health after four years from the accident in 1994, where a car ran a sign and hit me.

    I did not sue Walmart, I didn’t because I had to make sure my mental well-being was okay.

    Maybe if I had of given her my records. I was told by an attorney not to. In fact I told him to go away. He seemed only interested in a piece of me.

    I know it was her job to pay the least , but if they had cared at all, they would of asked toward the end or the waiting for my records and helped me. I know that is naive that I still believe there may be good in this world- well Wally World.

    Worst , I saw many spills at that store ,obvious ones that were left there for long periods and I mentioned it to the cashier and my concern that some one would get hurt and she replied, ” We have Slips n Falls ” all the time. I kept that receipt and I started to sue and use her as a winess.

    I had many many witnesses.
    I still have my dignity and I hope that she got a bonus.

    I think when we die, we will be judged and we will be accountable.

    Be Careful where you walk.

    OH this was rich too. They added Clean STations and tnen took them down soon after that..

  79. I can agree that the smiley face is too common for trademarking, but how is the accompanying photo to this post realistically under a Creative Commons license? I would think that the sign in the photo, with “Wal-Mart” and “Always Low Prices” on it, in that particular layout with those fonts, would be trademarked?

  80. I think Walmart should build dormitories for workers. They can charge, say, a dollar an hour for bunk space and 50 cents for a shower. They can lobby for a bill to make this a legal pretax employee pay deduction. This way everybody wins! Employees save money on expenses, and Walmart gets to recoup some of the money it loses paying workers.

    If they don’t like the dorms the employees should just remember how lucky they are and that some people don’t have homes at all, and that they are free to go at any time.

  81. Walmarts, or the insurance company that represents Walmart’s benefit’s plan has every right to get compensation if another insurance company pays. It is a moral call perhaps. I had a friend that was in an auto-accident and was paid by the other parties insurance. The guy injured’s hospital , doctor bills and so forth were paid first by the company where he worked . They could of made his reimburse them , and they were a huge congolmerate ; a phone company. They did not. The money paid by the guys insurance hardly covered his injuries and he had to sue his Underinsured, Noninsured and they , the phone company still did not ask for reimbursement.

    I have a problem with the statement about the insurance company being a business and needing to use that right, they make so much more money than they ever pay out. They screw over most people and we all know that is a fact. I have paid rounded about 1,800.00 a year for insurance and that is for 26 years and that is about 46 thousand dollars. They have not given me a dime back. Imagine all that do not file a claim. I know they are a business, but this is about a moral issue not business.

    We will all be accountable one day. The second greatest command is to love others. I know many do not believe in God let alone Christ , and they justify all , but I think we will be judged one day. NO, I know we will.

    The fact is people do not care for others. We should be all of us helping others. WE have become selfish people who only care for ourselves . Were any of us to stand for one another, maybe things would be different. We are too busy trying to get by and buy material things so that people can judge us by what we have.

    PS Don’t bother to try to slam me for my beliefs, they are mine. I don’t expect you to believe. I assure you, my self -esteem is wonderfully in tact. :)

  82. @103 Michael Canfield

    Don’t forget about handing out the shackles to all the ‘associates’, and giving management whips and shotguns. We wouldn’t want those live-ins getting disgruntle, now would we?

  83. Wal-Mart’s business model is to sell things cheap. That model drives all decisions made at corporate. I fail to see why you blame Wal-Mart, other than because it is a huge corporation. It seems to me that the blame lies with the millions and millions of people who shop at Wal-Mart. If the purchasing public refused to give their business to Wal-Mart, no one would have anything to complain about. Maybe Wal-Mart is as big as it is because they give the consumer what he/she wants. No one has a gun to my, or any other person’s, head forcing me to shop at Wal-Mart. Personally, I’ll drive out of my way not to shop at Wal-Mart, but it is certainly not their fault because the parking lots are full.

  84. When I said I had more education, in my pinky wut I meant was that I am a ecsample of a very high education Wal-mart enployee and you are not. And by the way Mr. Smartee pants, benefital IS a word! I means high benefits for all enployees. Wal-mart has never fired anyone for getting hurt unless they were mulangering. (do you know that word mr ivy leege pretty boy?)

  85. #110,

    You are pretty funny, but I’ve reported you for termination anyway. I feel sort of guilty about it because you did make me laugh, but I’m a heartless ghoul, so…namaste.

  86. @110 BCW20

    Wow, your posts are so ‘benefital’. Maybe I can apply for a full scholarship to one of those ‘ivy leege’ schools you were writing about. But I doubt they would go for the, “I made up a word”, now would they?

    BTW, when in doubt, use a spell checker or a dictionary. It really does look bad for YOUR cause.

  87. You know bcw20, you’re not the first person to work for Wal-Mart, and I’m sure you wont be the last. While I am sure not all of the stores are run the same, I know my expierence there will not be forgotten anytime soon. I started there, and was put to work immediately. I was not trained. I wasnt even given the same chance as the other’s in my class of taking my computer based learning program’s. During my interview with the company I made them aware that I was not a fast person. I am a hard worker though. I was hired as a Courtesy Associate. My first day, I was placed outside, working alone, at a Super Wal-Mart. I was responsiable for emptying trashcans in the Cart Corral’s, sweeping side-walks, bringing the carts back up to the store on General Merchandise, Garden Center, and Grocery, alone. I also had to carry items out for customer’s. I dont say thats alot, but for one person it can be a handful. I am also a heavyset guy. I was made by management to climb a ladder on which the weight capacity was less than my weight. They had no other ladder’s in the store with a higher capacity, after informing them that I also have a fear of height’s. This was managment’s descision. I was made to climb this ladder to clean window’s, which was not what I was hired to do. I was also critisized by my supervisor’s for assisting customer’s when I was stopped by them. During my lunch breaks which were a hour long, I was not relieved. Instead the carts were allowed to accumulate, making it even more diffacult for me to catch up, and stay caught up. There is more to my story, seeing as how after that alone, I didnt quit, you can imagine how much worse things got there. In the end I decided that $6.40 an hour just wasnt enough pay for what they expected from one person. So much for their wholesome image.

  88. well that last one by “bc etc etc” was over the top. Fess up now, sock puppeting even for a worthy cause is a no-no here. We really don’t need a dummy to beat up, WalMart is just fine as a target all by itself.

    If you are wondering, the first sentence of your last post was the give away.

  89. I really don’t see how everybody gets so riled up over this stuff. Wal-Mart is not the anti-christ nor is it the greatest thing since sliced bread. one of the biggest arguments against Wal-Mart is that it is destroying small town business, but nobody realizes that the entire world is moving away from small business. Everything is either franchise or corporate. We eat franchise food, buy corporate gas, drink franchise coffee, and watch corporate television. I feel it is regrettable that alot of small businesses have been forced out of the game but unfortunately that is a drawback of a capitalist society. Also remember that almost all these giant business started out as small operations. Natural selection wins out. The stronger animal survives and gets stronger. As to the economy being hurt by these stores closing i really don’t think that plays out. Obviously if these stores are closing then the market is satisfied. The same amount of money (if not more) is flowing and the only economy that is affected is the personal economy of the shop owners.
    And every poster is right about how wal-mart treats it’s employees. Some wal-marts do crappy things like making their employees work off the clock and promising full time status but not following through. Each wal-mart is different. It all depends on the local and regional management. The policies are all very pro-employee. What makes some store’s crappy is the management enforcing (or rather not enforcing) the policies dictated by the people controling company. The small group in charge of the company cannot closely supervise the entire chain. They depend on local management to do that. When that management fails so does the work environment.
    My last point refers to the suit against the injured woman. The woman was injured by the actions of another company’s employee. Wal-Mart footed the bill until that company upheld it’s responsibility. The fact that they HAD to sue is immoral, not that they sued. If I interpreted the artical right had she not recovered settlement from the truck company than the money wal-mart payed would have remained with the lady.
    In summeration some wal-marts are clean, friendly, and respectful places to work and shop. Many are not. Wal-Mart as a whole is just wal-mart.

  90. Wal-Mart is a joke! All they care about is sales but not customer service or good employee relations. You cannot talk to each other,they watch the employees more than the customer (cameras). Most Management only have high school educations and little or no experience in retail. If an employee is more educated and experienced and confronts management professionally, you are eventually gone. How about a 25 cent a year raise? Yes, if you really work hard,have a perfect record, and kiss up! The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. They lack the skills of service,knowledge,problem solving,employee relations,etc. Just bodies running Blind! Half of their stuff gets returned! Don’t work or buy there! The only thing about the smiley that is wal-mart is the BIG Head!

  91. BCW20 108:

    When I said I had more education, in my pinky wut I meant was that I am a ecsample of a very high education Wal-mart enployee and you are not. And by the way Mr. Smartee pants, benefital IS a word! I means high benefits for all enployees. Wal-mart has never fired anyone for getting hurt unless they were mulangering. (do you know that word mr ivy leege pretty boy?)

    I just couldn’t bring myself to cut this in any way. Every word is just precious.

    It’s so true! I’m not an ecsample of anything! I’m not even an example of a very high education Wal-mart enployee or even an employee, and I’m sure BCW (or at any rate the probably-nonexistent person portrayed here by whomever is writing this stuff) is one…highly edumacated for a Wal-Mart employee.

    Do you suppose an ecsample is a sample taken from the surface, while presumably an *ensample (starred because no citation exists) is a sample taken from the interior of whatever it is? Sometimes misspellings generate valuable new words, as was the case with ‘filk’.

    Antinous 110: See, this is why disemvowelling is better than deletion. It now looks like you’re reporting yourself for content not in evidence in your post. This one musta been a doozy to get pulled rather than just losing its vowels. I wish they’d leave a “Deleted” stub there when they do that, to preserve the numbering.

    Nametoolongtotype 111: Oh, come on! You aren’t falling for this are you? Who spells ‘Mr.’ right in one place and wrong in another? And ‘ivy leege pretty boy’?! Interestingly, I am none of those things, except maybe leege, which I can’t positively deny, never having seen that word before.

    Takuan 113: Now I’m dying to know whose sockpuppet that is.

  92. just some poor,well-intended WalMart field hand who has had enough.

    Would ectosampling and endosampling be superficial or pithy?

  93. Well…I have to admit, that was fun. I hope you guys had a good laugh. Misspelling to such a horrendous degree isn’t as easy as one might think. In actuality, I totally agree that Walmart’s above referenced legal actions were despicable. I believe they are the product greed and dissolution of responsibility within the “mega corporation”. By the way, I’ve never had the pleasure of working for Walmart although I’m sure it’s a life altering experience. ;)

  94. It was still naughty. There are people who probably would like to say something but are held back when they see how messy others can be. My heart goes out to those who show up every day at a job they hate because they MUST.

  95. Misspelling to such a horrendous degree isn’t as easy as one might think.

    I’m surprised that Babelfish doesn’t translate from English to Kitteh. You could have used that.

  96. Takuan: Surely you’re not suggesting that every Walmart employee hates their job. I’d wager there are many who are perfectly content working there. For those who hate it, there are way too may opportunities for change in our country for my heart to go out to them.

    Antinous: lol, that would have been a little overboard but funny none the less. “OMG, mez jerb is lik bery benefital!!”

    Xopher: you didn’t spoil anything! I just hope my account doesn’t get deleted. I really like this site and I promise to be an upstanding citizen from now on.

  97. That is up to Teresa. If she hasn’t smacked you upside the head I imagine you didn’t cross the line. She is very fair, strict, but fair. Why only last week, I double posted by accident. She only nailed my right foot to the floor and made me run in very tight circles while being flogged with an old printer cable. I shouldn’t worry.

    I don’t think every WalMart worker is miserable. I do think far too many are. And I think that doesn’t have to be so. How free are you? Do you have kids to feed and maybe three employers in your town? Medical insurance?

  98. “We have footage of him actually nailing your head to the floor.”
    “Oh, that. Well, I had that coming. He was a cruel man, but fair.”

  99. Sorry for the disorder. I’ve been letting them run loose while I’ve collected datapoints.

    Rue the day, Wal-Mart.

  100. From: “David Nassar, Wal-Mart Watch”

    Dear Friend,

    After years of hounding Debbie Shank and her family, Wal-Mart says it will finally do the right thing.

    Today, Wal-Mart agreed to allow the Shank family to keep the money they won from the trucking company responsible for Debbie’s injuries.

    Finally, the Shank family can put their fight with Wal-Mart behind them and focus on taking care of Debbie.

    This was all possible thanks to the tremendous support from people like you.

    Jim Shank released the following statement today thanking you and the rest of Debbie’s supporters:

    “I am grateful that Wal-Mart has seen their error and decided to rectify it. I just wish it hadn’t taken them so long, this never should have happened. I sincerely hope no other family ever has to go through this.

    “My thanks go first and foremost to my lord and savior Jesus Christ for the strength to bear up under all this. Thanks also to the citizens of the United States – it wasn’t me who made this happen, it was the outcry of the people, and if there’s a lesson in this story it’s that ‘we the people’ still means something.”

    You showed Wal-Mart that we will not sit back while the retail giant takes advantage of a working family in need.

    And Wal-Mart showed that it will never do the right thing unless we stand up, express our outrage, and force it to make the moral choice. That’s why we need to continue to pressure Wal-Mart to do right by its 1.3 million American employees on issues like health care, discrimination, and working conditions.

    For the Shank family, this is a bittersweet victory. Debbie’s injuries will last a lifetime, and the emotional toll of this ordeal won’t go away easily. But now they have one less obstacle to overcome — and you helped make that happen.

    On behalf of the Shank family and all of us at Wal-Mart Watch, thank you for your support.


    David Nassar
    Wal-Mart Watch

  101. I say we start an email chain telling everybody in you address list not to shop Wal-Mart during the month of June. We’ll force Wally World to its knees. Spread the word!
    The entire month of June: NO SHOPPING AT WAL-MART!

  102. I’ve been reading Boing Boing too much. I looked at the title of this post and said “Cory” under my breath. Bingo.

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