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Indybay Feature
Fri May 9 2014 (Updated 05/10/14)
President Praises Walmart at Store in Mountain View, Protesters Cry Foul
Fri May 9 2014 (Updated 05/10/14)
Obama Disappoints Labor Advocates with Appearance at Walmart on Peninsula
President Obama was in Mountain View on May 9 to promote initiatives that expand solar energy use. He had special praise for Walmart because it uses some forms of alternative energy. Labor advocates protested outside the megastore where the president spoke, saying that Walmart is anti-union, keeps workers' wages low, and provides few benefits.

Demonstrators said the president's visit sends a terrible message to workers. They accused Walmart of using spin to promote the perception that it is a socially conscious company, when the exact opposite is the case. Walmart has been called the poster child for despicable behavior as thousands of civil lawsuits are filed every year against the retail giant.

National civil rights leaders have signed a letter calling on the Walton Family Foundation to follow in Walmart’s footsteps and end their ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and specifically voice their opposition to “Stand Your Ground” and voter suppression laws. The leaders, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Jeremiah Wright and Danny Glover, write that they are appalled that despite Walmart’s and the Walton Family’s attempts to create an image of supporting civil rights and community and civic participation, both the retail giant and the foundation have given more than $1 million to politicians with close ties to ALEC and its agenda.

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