Thursday, May 7, 2009

Phony Liberals

Something smells at Whole Foods by Sharon Smith at

There was a time in decades past when liberalism was defined in part by its principled defense of the right to collective bargaining. That liberal tradition was buried by the market-driven neoliberal agenda over the last three decades, allowing companies like Whole Foods to posture as progressive organizations when their corporate policies are based upon violating one of the most basic of civil rights: the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively. Indeed, Whole Foods has ridden its progressive image to absorb its smaller competitors and emerge as a corporate giant.

As the Texas Observer argued recently, "People shop at Whole Foods not just because it offers organic produce and natural foods, but because it claims to run its business in a way that demonstrates a genuine concern for the community, the environment and the 'whole planet,' in the words of its motto. In reality, Whole Foods has gone on a corporate feeding frenzy in recent years, swallowing rival retailers across the country...The expansion is driven by a simple and lucrative business strategy: high prices and low wages."

Indeed, Whole Foods now stands as the second largest anti-union retailer in the U.S., beaten only by Wal-Mart. Most of Whole Foods' loyal clientele certainly would--and should--shudder at the comparison.

BTW, Whole Foods is one of the companies working hard to fight EFCA.

It doesn't matter what clothes you wear to a business meeting. It doesn't matter if you wear shorts and hiking boots to a business meeting instead of a suit and tie, if the result of the meeting is still the downgrading of employee health care and fighting hard to deny the employees the basic human right to organize and collectively bargain together.

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