Michelle Gloeckler, executive vice president of consumables, and U.S. manufacturing lead for Walmart,
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AFL-CIO Not Impressed by Walmart’s U.S. Sourcing Pledge

Aug. 15, 2014
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the pledge is meaningless without a commitment to support its own U.S. workers.

During its U.S. Manufacturing Summit, which convened this week in Denver, Walmart renewed its pledge to source U.S.-made products. Michelle Gloeckler, the retailer’s executive vice president of consumables, and U.S. manufacturing lead for Walmart, equated this pledge to a journey that started 18 months ago when the company announced its products would “roll from U.S. assembly lines at a revitalized pace.”

“The destination is a recharged economy where manufacturing is an engine for jobs,” she said. “We’re making more products, closer to home, when it makes economic sense and saves our customers money. Over ten years we have pledged to buy an additional $250 billion of products that support American jobs. We’ll buy more of what’s already made here in the U.S., we’ll source products that are new to Walmart and, where it makes economic sense, we’ll re-shore the manufacturing of goods.”

In response, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement:

“It’s about time Walmart figured out that America’s workers are the most qualified and the best skilled at getting the job done. … But workers will not benefit from a Walmart-ification of our manufacturing sector. Jobs in the Walmart model won’t restore America’s middle class or build shared prosperity given the company’s obsession with low labor costs and undermining American labor standards. … If Walmart is truly committed to rebuilding the American middle class, it can start with its own workers, most of whom make less than $25,000/year and struggle to make ends meet.”

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