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Wal-Mart manager creates online petition seeking change at company

May 08, 2012|By Shan Li
  • A Wal-Mart sign in Mexico City.
A Wal-Mart sign in Mexico City. (Daniel Aguilar / Getty Images )

Weeks after news about Wal-Mart's alleged involvement with bribery in Mexico surfaced, rank-and-file workers at the nation's largest retailer have taken their calls for change online.

Venanzi Luna, a department manager at a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pico Rivera, created an online petition at urging the company to undertake "a thorough and independent investigation" into allegations of widespread use of bribery and corruption to gain approval for new stores in Mexico.

The petition, which has gathered more than 13,000 signatures, also calls for the resignation of Wal-Mart Chief Executive Mike Duke and Chairman S. Robson Walton.

"Just because they are rich doesn't mean they don't have to follow the same rules and laws as everyone else," said Luna, 33, of South Gate. "I love my job, and I want Wal-Mart to succeed. And the way they succeed is by doing the right thing."

Luna estimates that about 80% of petition's signers are former or current Wal-Mart employees who are fed up with the company's culture of expansion at all costs.

"I am not trying to close it down, I am trying to put it how Sam Walton had it before," Luna said. "It used to be a family environment. Now it's all about money."

Allegations that bribery was used routinely to smooth the way for Wal-Mart's expansion in Mexico were first reported by the New York Times.

Since the report, Wal-Mart has been wrangling with a number of legal and financial aftershocks.

The California State Teachers' Retirement System is suing Wal-Mart executives and board members and seeking changes in the company's corporate governance. Last week, a group of New York City pension funds said they would vote against reelecting five Wal-Mart directors.

Mexican government agencies and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the bribery allegations.

Wal-Mart shares plunged nearly 9% in the days after the report but have recovered slightly.


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