On Thursday, February 2nd, Sprawl-Busters will be part of a delegation meeting with representatives from the huge pension fund TIAA-CREF, to urge the fund to put more pressure on Wal-Mart to start acting like a responsible corporation. The “Make TIAA-CREF Ethical Coalition will meet with CREF officials in Manhattan to push CREF to live up to its slogan, investing “for the greater good.” Among the issues being raised by New Jersey Sprawl-Buster, Regina Discenza, and the Coalition, are the following: “TIAA-CREF needs to ask Wal-Mart to: 1) Have Wal-Mart Realty assign a community representative to meet with neighbors of every proposed store, to solicit their concerns and ideas for development, and bring them to a WMR committee that will respond to each concern, and seek to maximize compliance with each of the wishes of the neighbors, including relocation of the site if the community does not want the facility. 2) Adopt the following development principles: a) to emphasize infill and reuse of existing buildings, and greenfields development only as a last resort. b) Avoid further abandonment of existing stores- creating hundreds of DEAD STORES all across America. c) limit the footprint of a building to 1 acre, with a total size limit of three stories. d) locate parking underground, or in an enclosed building, bringing the store itself up to the street wall, instead of behind a parking lot the size of an airport. e) avoid “monolithic” design by involving local people in the conceptual planning for the store and the open space around it. f) avoid locating any store within 20 miles of another Wal-Mart store- the saturation policy. g) avoid building on land that is environmentally, culturally or historically sensitive. 3) Adopt the following personnel practices: a) increase the pay for workers to ensure that no employee, on an FTE basis, is
working below the poverty level based on their family size, and seek to increase pay for all workers at least 10% above the prevailing wage for that trade area. b) end the practice of mid week payroll adjustments. c) increase the % of workers receiving company-sponsored health insurance, and seek to spend at least 8% of payroll for health insurance benefits. 4) establish a Board committee that reviews all reports on discrimination against workers, including gender, disability and minority discrimination charges, and make an annual report to stockholders of such reports. 5) Publish a list of all vendor factories, and underwrite the cost of at least a semi-annual unannounced independent inspections of those factories. 6) Close down immediately the warehouse at Teotihuacan, Mexico and not try to open any other stores on culturally important areas such as Juchitan, Oaxaca and Patzuaro, Michoacan. The National Commission on human rights intervened and found that the Wal-Mart Teotihuacan store was unconstitutional because of its illegality. It also declared that it is potentially damaging to world heritage.
For further information about the efforts of the “Make TIAA-CREF Ethical Coalition, contact [email protected] If you have money invested in TIAA-CREF, that makes you a big-time investor in Wal-Mart. Go to the Fund’s website and tell them how you feel about the “greater good” that their Wal-Mart investment in making in the world.
For further information about the efforts of the “Make TIAA-CREF Ethical Coalition, contact [email protected] If you have money invested in TIAA-CREF, that makes you a big-time investor in Wal-Mart. Go to the Fund’s website and tell them how you feel about the “greater good” that their Wal-Mart investment is making in the world.