Associated Press reported Wednesday that Wal-Mart's shareholders meeting Friday is going to feature complaints about the company's health benefits, wages, and the way Wal-Mart does business.
That may be news to some people, but not those who read The Turner Report, which carried the story on May 8.
AP notes that a group of shareholders is attempting to get items on the agenda that would address complaints about Wal-Mart. This is the item that ran May 8 in The Turner Report.
While many Wal-Mart workers in stores across the United States are eligible for Medicaid and food stamps, company officials have done all they can to enrich themselves.
At least that is the portrait painted in an exempt solicitation filed Friday with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. In the solicitation, Bartlett Naylor, a longtime union official who has a history of similar filings with Wal-Mart and numerous other large businesses, submits for consideration of Wal-Mart stockholders a proposal that would require the company's board consist of two-thirds independent directors.
The same proposal was submitted two years ago and was approved by 23 percent of stockholders, according to the filing. "For any company, an independent board is important," Naylor said in the filing. "Since 39 percent of Wal-Mart's stock is controlled by the five Walton heirs, we believe that such a structure is even more important for Wal-Mart shareholders as a whole."The situation is even more urgent now, Naylor said, due to recent events, several of which he cited in the filing.
-"Board member Thomas M. Coughlin was reportedly forced 'to resign from the board following an investigation into fraudulent expense accounts and invoices and misuse of company-owned gift cards,' Naylor said, quoting from an article in the March 28 Wall Street Journal.
-From that same issue of the Journal, Naylor noted that a gender discrimination lawsuit against the company has been allowed to proceed as a class action suit possibly including 1.6 million women. Wal-Mart is appealing that decision.
-"In March, Wal-Mart paid $11 million to settle a federal investigation into its use of undocumented workers in floor-cleaning crews."
Naylor noted that company directors and their relatives are raking in the bucks from Wal-Mart. Among those cited in the filing:-Former CEO David D. Glass's son "owns Springdale Card & Comic Wholesale, Inc., which Wal-Mart paid $3,802,243 in fiscal year 2005."-James Beyer "owns more than 10 percent of Groove Networks, which Wal-Mart paid $278,003 in 2005 for computer software and services."-Christopher Williams' firm "received $103,000 during fiscal year 2005 from Wal-Mart," even though the filing noted that Wal-Mart has declared it will no longer use the firm while Williams is on the board of directors.-Roland A. Hernandez "owns more than 10 percent of Inter-Con Security Systems, which Wal-Mart paid $731,006 in fiscal year 2005."