More on Wal-Mart in Québec

As it has been pointed out, consumer politics aren't always effective and are never a good substitute for good, ole' fashioned political action, which is why I'm happy that organized labour in Québec has decided not to call for a boycott of Wal-Mart. Instead, they'll focus their efforts on halting the closure of the Wal-Mart in Jonquière through the use of Québec's labour tribunals.

I've always wondered, however, how you would go about political action against a retail giant? Do you write letters to you MP, representative, senator, or delegate demanding that Wal-Mart receive no tax breaks until it treats its employees like human beings, which would include providing job security, a living wage, health care, access to affordable child care, etc.? Do you organize first and then start the letter writing, which I've seen work in my own neighbourhood to prevent the local McDonald's from adding a drive-in? Do you vote for the candidate in your local riding/district who has a track record of supporting labour and small businesses? In light of Wal-Mart's tendency to donate money to the Republicans, do you simply vote Democrat? Do you let Wal-Mart know that you'll only frequent unionized stores? That last one is consumer politics, but...

Or do you start from scratch and start lobbying for a different model of successful business that isn't about the rich getting richer but is instead about spreading the wealth and comfort and happiness to as many people as possible?

I like the last option best but it is the least tangible and practical. I don't really want anyone calling me Don for yet another reason.


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