February 27, 2014

Jobs With Justice

An Open Letter to Mike Rowe

Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe wrote a response to our campaign to get him to meet with Walmart workers. Below is our letter back.

Dear Mike,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to us directly on your Facebook page.

Jobs With Justice is a nonprofit organization committed to activism and lifting workers’ voices, which is why we’re frustrated that you’ve written a letter directly to Ori – one of our organizational spokespeople – instead of addressing the people who emailed you or the workers who are asking to meet with you.

We can all agree that Walmart is a divisive company, as demonstrated by the many emails you’ve received from our activists, on top of the thousands of comments on your Facebook page. When we heard your voice in one of Walmart’s new ads, our genuine hope was that we could build common ground around issues facing working people in this country, and in particular, at Walmart. While we do not directly represent or organize Walmart associates, Jobs With Justice strongly supports Walmart workers in their efforts to improve their working conditions and achieve sustainable jobs. That’s why we urged our supporters – many of them your fans — to email you and ask you to meet with real Walmart workers who have been calling on the company to be a better employer.

Walmart is a big deal because of its influence on our entire economy – a point you’ve made yourself when talking about their new PR campaign. But it’s hard for us to trust Walmart’s promise to invest in U.S. manufacturing when they’ve made a pledge to change before and the results have been questionable at best. Instead of following through on that pledge, the Alliance for American Manufacturing reports that Walmart actually upped its overseas purchasing and increased pressure on its suppliers to reduce costs, even if that meant outsourcing at our economy’s expense.

Of course, we agree that Walmart should invest in products made in the United States, but manufacturing is just a small piece of the puzzle, given that the company employs 1.4 million people in this country and sets standards for the entire retail economy. That’s why Walmart also needs to rebuild America by investing in the workers it already employs. Change at Walmart doesn’t start with an ad campaign, it starts with the actual workers who are a core part of Walmart’s success and yet are subject to low wages, erratic scheduling, dwindling benefits and retaliation when they try to raise these issues with their bosses.

Without recourse or a voice at work, these associates are trying to call attention to the harsh realities of working at Walmart however they can. That’s why they want to sit down with you; so they can explain why this ad and your defense of the company don’t match up to their experiences working there. We’re not asking you to take sides between Walmart and its employees, we’re simply asking that you hear another side of this story – the one that the ad you narrated isn’t telling.

In truth, we actually reached out to you because of your foundation and the great work it does in helping train and educate working people. We are big supporters of apprenticeships and the skilled trades, but your claims that retail jobs are increasingly obsolete – and therefore not worth the time and investment to improve – is way off base. In fact, retail workers – the ones who work at Walmart and other stores (and the ones who likely sold you that amazing bathrobe) – belong to one of the fastest growing industries in our country and also one of the lowest paid. Those jobs are the product of a much larger problem: the way big, profitable corporations protect their bottom line at the expense of their workforce. So while we applaud the efforts of your foundation, it’s quite unlikely those efforts will address these systemic issues and actually help people who work at Walmart.

Jobs With Justice is working to create an economy that doesn’t have to rely on the generosity of people like you and the work of your foundation – private companies like Walmart can and should pay their workers enough to make ends meet. Our guess is that if you actually sat down with Walmart associates, they’d tell you that what would help them is being paid more and being paid fairly, so they could not only support themselves and their families without relying on public assistance, but could also invest in their own education and future and create their own opportunities.

Even without our emails, you’ve drawn some incredible attention to yourself as it relates to this issue. All we’re asking is that Walmart workers have a chance to have their voices heard as well.


Jobs With Justice

Update: A few days after we penned this letter to Mike Rowe to restate our sincere appeal to him to meet with Walmart workers, he responded to our letter on his Facebook page. Our collective outreach to Rowe compelled him to engage in a productive public discussion about Walmart’s labor practices. Unfortunately, Rowe has not yet agreed to meet with the Walmart associates who want to share their perspectives about working for the company. OUR Walmart continues to reach out to Mike Rowe directly in order to facilitate an in-person meeting. Nevertheless, with the help of thousands of people who want Walmart to do better, our campaign provided a platform to increase public debate about Walmart’s disastrous impact on jobs and our economy. Thanks for engaging with us in this effort and in our ongoing work to change Walmart and change our economy!

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168 Comments on “An Open Letter to Mike Rowe”

  1. Brenda Nash

    This is a great letter. And right on point. My guess they paid Mr. Rowe a lot of money to take their side. But I have seen Mr. ROWE on Ed Schultz’s show a few times. He seems to always speak to one side of things. He does not seem to want know the other side or want to hear it unless money is involved.

    1. Glorious_Cause

      So, let me get this right….a company spending $250 billion to buy American-made products instead of Chinese-made products is a BAD thing? You leftists are nutty.

      1. Letterman007

        Next time your in Walmart, see how many American made products you find!! They said the would “TRY” to buy more American made products!!! Look real hard because things you feel are American, AREN’T! Like Colgate tooth paste and a lot more American brands that have been allowed to move over seas. Another is Green Giant, YEP Chinese!!

        1. Chris

          Hmm, if only we raised the minimum wage and increased the corporate tax rate. That would inspire companies to buy more American made goods. We’d decrease the cost of manufacturing and improve profitability while bringing back more jobs to the US. Makes sense right?

          1. Letterman007

            What makes sense is, increase tax on American companies who abandon this country and make goods over seas and then get by with minimal taxes to sell those goods here!! Or how about G M !! They get bailed out with our money and are in the process of moving 70% of their production to CHINA!!! But since they are American companies they avoid a lot of import taxes !! FAIR RIGHT???

          2. Chris

            How about instead of increasing taxes, we reduce them, simplify the tax code, thus reducing the cost of doing business in the US and encouraging more domestic manufacturing? Don’t bail out ANY company, if a private business succeeds or fails, that is their doing, they should never receive tax dollars.

  2. Michael Cowtan

    When Walmart talks about buying more American products, what they are talking about is food not toasters

      1. Guest

        You might be the “racist” for commenting that immigrants are the “pickers” who need and do these jobs! Many immigrants come to the US with degrees and work in high paying professions and positions.

        1. pszymeczek

          Depends on the time of year. Here in Arizona in the winter, we get produce from Chile, among other places.

      2. Matthew Roy

        Are you brain dead? Someone makes a point that the jobs Walmart would be allegedly adding are pretty crappy, at least I’ve always thought of agriculture jobs as being worse then manufacturing, I think most would agree.
        But that’s beside the point, since your idiotic response to a post is to assume that a post with no implied racial implications is racist. Do you understand the meaning of that word? Someone is racist if they believe that your race has some effect on attributes which are completely unrelated.
        The only idiot displaying racism is you, either in a belief that only an immigrant would take such a horrible job, because of some racism against such human beings, or you believe that anyone else wouldn’t because they don’t work as hard or some other racist belief against them.
        Go away idiot.

  3. scriptspring

    My fear is that your very well written letter may fall on deaf ears if Mr. Rowe has already been bought and sold.

    1. Glorious_Cause

      “Mr. Rowe has already been bought and sold.”

      Get back to us when you have a real argument please.

      1. scriptspring

        Well, pardon me for expressing an opinion. So sorry it wasn’t deep enough for you.

          1. spike

            My daughter just keeps telling me “Mom don’t try to reason with those people – they may just be junior high or high schools trying to irritate.”

      2. Lee Hyland

        I like how you intentionally misquoted her and left the “if” off of the quote you bashed. Get back to us when you have basic conversational skills that don’t rely on subtle tricks to help leverage your point.

  4. kingartie1

    Walmart should be required to amend its tax rates or returns to pay more, much more, to reflect the de facto subsidies it receives by underpaying its workers — imagine that, a megacorporation with the revenue stream of a small country, taking what amounts to welfare — who then need SNAP, Medicaid and other benefits provided collectively by the taxpayer to pay for goods and services they can’t afford. Why should We have to pony up to effectively underwrite their indentured staff policies? And therefore increase their quarterly profits, their stock prices and dividends and bonuses? Mike, listen, you’re a pitchman for a giant corporation that is the modern equivalent of medieval vassalage in which the affluent lords of the manor dispensed no more than was necessary to keep the scrawny serfs beholden to the scraps. The math and the morality simply don’t add up.

    1. Chris

      Underpaying its workers? If they are underpaid, then they should take their skill set and find a better paying job. If they can’t, then they are not underpaid, they are paid what the fair market value is for their skills.

      1. kingartie1

        Nonsense. An employer the size of Walmart DISTORTS the employment market in the city or, even more, the town where it sets up a big box. In many places where Walmart has a store, there ARE no other readily available jobs. They pay these people the minimum because it simply maximizes the most positive spread between their revenue and the cost of doing business. And then they pass part of the difference in the cost of doing that business on to the U.S. taxpayer. We ante up for the food coupons and medical care their piss-ant take-home pay doesn’t enable them to afford. The government provides. Walmart labor works 30 – 40 hours a week; and after paying all expenses, has to skip meals or not pay bills because Walmart is vacuuming up every dime it can squeeze from every nook and paycheck? Sorry, ain’t right. Walmart’s buying power, from apples to TVs, is unprecedented. But they also buy human beings, rather their time and effort, and that deserves more than the smallest possible sum of the market value of their skills, at the very least so the taxpayer doesn’t have to in effect pay part of Walmart’s fookin’ business tab.

        1. Chris

          No, you don’t understand how supply and demand works. If they were paying too little, people would not accept the job. And of course they pay the minimum they can in order to maximize profits, that is what all good businesses should do. Are you suggesting that since they are a big company they should not profit?
          And yes, we the taxpayers do ante up for the food stamps and medical coverage that unskilled workers think they deserve. We shouldn’t. People need to work hard and live within their means they are not entitled to live a life of luxury off of taxpayers backs.
          And of course they buy the time and effort of their employees, that is exactly what every employer does. You imply that is a bad thing, well actual you imply that is a form of slavery, but that is simply absurd.

    2. Mark

      So Walmart pays no income tax or local taxes. You miss a lot when you look at such a slim view of a companies finances. Just imagine what they pay in fuel and road taxes excise taxes on tires and all the taxes that are associated with thier own trucking fleet.
      Real estate taxes, local income and sales tax, there are so many that most people never think of. Just keep complaining that someone isn’t making 15.00 an hour. Well I work for a major medical center and I don’t make that much but that is my choice and I will improve my circumstances when the opportunity arises.
      I remember that this country used to be the steel manufacturing giant of the world. What happened there. I’ll tell you what, unions, and unlike the steel companies before unions no one is in fear of their life or working 60 hours a week at Walmart. The military has members that are on food stamps and working second jobs and so do people that work for a lot of different companies. Are you going to cry a river for the K-mart employees that lose their jobs when a Walmart opens around the corner. Gee why not, get your priorities straight.
      I find it amazing that the roof is raised when Walmart comes in to a depressed area and builds a store that might close one or two small businesses but nobody takes into account that 3/4 of the other businesses in that town are closed. And Walmart hires 75 people or better and contracts with other local businesses for their services. What a shame.
      Walmart is not the problem Washington is, and I don’t just mean the present administration.

  5. Aubretia Edick

    Walmart paid Mike Rowe to tell people that they (a company created in America) is going to sell American made product. SMH

    1. Edward Collins Jr.

      Mike Rowe is making lots on money as a corporate shill for Wall Mart so it’s unlikely anything anyone says will ever change his mind. Still what is in your letter needs to be said and you have dine it exceptionally

      1. tom heider

        To LouAnnWatson I have a French Poodle that has more talent than Mike Rowe and a whole lot cleaner.

    2. Terence Clark

      He doesn’t. Read his responses. Try picking on someone who’s actually on the opposite side of the issue. It does wonders for your productivity toward a cause.

      1. Dane

        The letter doesn’t talk about how much he spent, but about how he has promoted them, did you even read it? I take it not.

        1. Mark

          So he does a voice over for a company that says they are going to spend a but load of money in our country on goods and services , and that is right up Mike’s alley as far as his foundation is concerned and you think it is a problem. Well look at it this way who will be the one with egg on his face if Walmart doesn’t come through. I would think that those people who support Mike will also be watching very carefully to see what happens.

          And please tell me why a teacher needs a union?

  6. tom heider

    I really must wonder if Mike Roe knows that Walmart , of all corp. operating in the U.S.has the most employees going home from their jobs after they stop for Federal assistance , including food stamps.Why, because they don’t pay enough for a family of one to live on. tjh037@gmail.com

    1. Frank M. Bryce

      Thats because the cost of having an employee is so high they can’t afford to pay more because the government has forced employers to provide more and more benefits.

      1. tom heider

        Frank M.Bryce You are so right .
        Walmart has been charged by the N.L.R.B for not paying time and a half for more than 40 hours a week,not paying minimum wage .Need I say more?Oh and these violations were more than once .

      2. Terence Clark

        If your employees can’t afford to house and feed themselves and keep themselves in a reasonable state of health, your profits are a fallacy.

    2. Terence Clark

      I wonder if Mike Rowe’s critics know that his organization is focused on education in trades and increasing investment in US manufacturing and not on retail worker’s rights? I wonder if they also know that attacking his role on one single commercial is counterproductive to both organizations and not improving the lives of even a single employee?

    3. Mark

      I will trump that argument. Just look at the military, there are many families that receive food stamps, and work second jobs to make ends meet.. Don’t blame Walmart for doing what other discount companies do as far as wage levels.

  7. danny

    hey who remembers when we use to make fun of the canadian dollar… how worthless it was…we have gone a long way……….down

      1. Terence Clark

        LouAnn, our energy policy is plenty aggressive given we are on track to be energy independent in a mere few years and the lead energy exporter on the planet in a decade or so. Canada? Not so much. We’re pumping far more oil now than we were 5-10 years ago and expanding that more year on year than we were at the time. I mean, have you BEEN to the states on the Bakken formation? You couldn’t pay people to move to some of those states 10-15 years ago and now they’re flocking there in droves. I’m not saying I’m a fan of the fossil fuel first approach, but the weak energy policy point is a complete fallacy.

  8. Letterman007

    Mr. Rowe is more worried about his bottom line than anyone that works for a living!! A man in his position and saying he’s trying to help people with his foundation is a person who says look what I do, I have this foundation to help people, but when it comes time to really do some hard work for people he’s deaf and dumb!!!

      1. Letterman007

        Aren’t you a little smart mouth!! Evidently you have had everything handed to you!! Try working for a living at Walmart or McDomalds or any other place that rides the backs of their workers!! You’d sing a different tune!!

        1. Glorious_Cause

          “Try working for a living at Walmart or McDomalds”

          Those jobs aren’t meant to be “livable wage” jobs. They’re jobs for teenagers looking for some extra cash. If you’re looking for a livable wage, you need to increase your skill-set beyond flipping burgers and stocking shelves.

          1. Letterman007

            Do you realize that right now there are not enough jobs like what you are talking about to go around, even if you have your so called skill set !! So some people have, in order to work, have taken these jobs out of necessity!! It’s all that’s there now thanks to our fine government and NAFTA or AFTRA !! Or would you rather have more people on the government doll??

      1. Letterman007

        How about you have a mind of your own and not one that was pumped full of political crap!!

  9. Dave_K

    How can the taxpayers continue to bail out Walmart employees who work full time but are not paid wages that keep them above the poverty level? The money that we spend in supporting these workers is substantial and ends up in the pockets of greedy executives who encourage this practice. Walmart needs to provide a livable wage for its employees and not expect to do so at the taxpayer’s expense.

    1. Cindy Nowicki

      Very few Walmart workers make minimum wage. It is a ruse used by unions to get their foot in the door. Once its unionized, workers will be forced to pay dues, which comes out of their check, leaving them with the minimum wage you are railing against.

      1. Dave_K

        The taxpayers have to pay a portion of the worker’s salary in food stamps or other benefits that they would not be entitled to if their wages were above a poverty level. By not paying money to workers it is available for executive salaries or other uses by the company. Walmart used to have a help line set up for their workers to assist them with their finances. They routinely provided links for employees to obtain public assistance rather than to petition the company for higher wages. No one should have to work forty hours per week and remain at a poverty level.

        1. Mark

          What do the people at Walmart not making a “Living Wage” do. And of course other uses, like building stores and hiring more people. Why is it any of your business what a company pays their executive staff, are not the workers at Walmart offered the ability to advance within the company and better their financial situation. You don’t really understand the business model that Walmart operates under do you. If you did and if you ever had to be responsible for meeting a payroll you might understand that.

  10. Rob Park

    First thought: Your letter gives him too much credit… The next thought that popped into my mind is: what are they paying that guy? Then…Oh he’s got integrity! Why else would he be spokesperson? He’s got morals, that’s why Walmart would pay him and why people would listen… But how can it be right the Walton’s do nothing and are ‘worth’ what??, while the workers who make that money, literally, struggle? Maybe the guy need a history lesson about working life before unions? Dumb… If he wanted to open his eyes he could look to Asia to see that.. Stupid point, he can look right here, at the lives of the working poor.
    Anyone with a heart and a good mind knows that the real loser is the big bully who beats up the little kid for his lunch money. And if he can’t see the analogy or refuses to because of the money they’re paying him, he’s a BIG freeking loser, and–symbolically( because I don’t really believe in violence)– who wouldn’t like to put him in his place after watching him do that a couple times!?

    1. LouAnnWatson

      the walton’s started the company and took the risk…did you know that hillary clinton, the smartest woman in the world, served on the board of directors for years? i know she pulled down some serious cash for doing nothing. but leftist sycophants like you will just excuse her…moron

  11. Paul

    Im not sure any of you understand how business works. If you are worried about how much people make start your own business and charge/pay what you feel is correct instead of seeking to be activists.

    1. LouAnnWatson

      they’re clueless…all of the college degrees in this country and we have economic morons at every turn, including the one in the white house.

      1. herefornow

        Obama’s not perfect, but he can’t be blamed for the selfish delusions of the nation’s excuse-making business class.

    2. herefornow

      If everyone owned businesses, there’d be nobody left to do the actual work it takes to run them.

      The proof is all around us that it is bubble-dwelling business OWNERS who have no understanding of how business works.
      Rather than looking within when confronted with the disastrous results of their ineptitude, they tell their critics to “start their own businesses.” That alone speaks volumes about their lack of insight.
      The economy and the workforce suffer from the arrogant ignorance of those who can’t even comprehend the basic concept that employees are also consumers, and the very backbone of our nation.
      As manufacturers continue to greedily slither overseas, and the jobs left at home pay less per hour than neighbor kids make mowing lawns, our foundation is crumbling before our eyes

  12. LouAnnWatson

    “We can all agree that Walmart is a divisive company”

    who the hell are you? Mike Rowe doesn’t have to meet with any of union organizing progressive grifters hiding behind “workers rights”

    1. Terence Clark

      Rowe isn’t exactly singing your tune, LouAnn. He’s not anti-union in even the slightest sense. And he’s come out in support of JWJ even in his vocal opposition to their strategy as it concerns him. Who the hell are you, indeed.

      1. Glorious_Cause

        “Why else would he have appeared on the campaign trail in 2012 with Mitt Romney?”

        He invited Obama as well…Obama said no.

        Please get your facts straight…it wasn’t a campaign event…it was a forum on skilled labor in America and Rowe invited both Romney and Obama…only Romney showed up.

  13. Frank M. Bryce

    You guys silly crazy. Walmart is putting a quarter of a trillion dollars back into AMERICA! Thats $250,000,000 or 250 BILLION with a B. If walmart doesn’t make a profit then the stock holders will not be happy and then what happens? PRICES GO UP!

    1. AlCashier

      true true true. and like around Chicago IL, everyone we know who gladly shops at walmart is a union member of some union or another, and even “in a union” we can barely afford to feed our families in this day and age. at this rate, if walmart is forced to unionize, criminy, we’ll NEVER be able to afford shop there either.

  14. Josh Roberts

    How about people stand up to govt and ppl get off their butts and quit letting ppl pay for them to be on the govt dole for 99 WEEKS! The govt wants ppl to quit work and if you sir have a job, look at your stub and see how much tax comes out! You are paying for others to stay home and make babies, sell crack and other crap. It used to be something to hold your head up and say you have a job! Now it is looked down upon. America is becoming Germany when Hilter took over!

    1. pszymeczek

      Aren’t you aware that when a person is drawing unemployment insurance benefits, he or she has to provide proof of X number of job applications a week? Many employers won’t even look at an application or resume from an individual who is long-term unemployed, even though the situation is through no fault of the unemployed person. I’ve been unemployed for eight years, I have a master’s degree and many years of experience in my career field, received many awards and commendations, and was making nearly $70K a year when I was unceremoniously dumped by my employer. But I was over 50 when I lost my job. Even though I have expressed a willingness to work for far less than I was making before, I still can’t find a job. Quit watching Fox “News” and listening to right-wing radio. Try talking to some actual people who have been harmed by corporate greed.

      1. Josh Roberts

        How about you blast everyone who voted for progressives, huh? OBAMA’s agenda is the reason you don’t have a job. What he was wanting to do, “spread the wealth” is the reason companies laid off ppl. They knew what kind of impact it would have on their bottom dollar. Are they greedy? No! It is not wise to pay 4 ppl 30,000 when 2 ppl can do it for 60,000 a piece. If the progressives wouldn’t pass so many stupid laws, to keep companies down, ppl like you and me could work. I have been working odd n end jobs for 6 yrs with a Bach Degree. I just got hired FT. This govt passes bills to keep us down so they can inact communism. Jimmy carter done this same thing. Ppl who can stay on unemploy for 99wks don’t have motivation to get up off ass and find a job. Called laziness!

  15. AlCashier

    God bless you, Mike Rowe. Keep strong. We are in the IUOE, our whole family has been paying our dues in it for over 55 years now and we see nothing wrong with you getting paid for your well-known voice reading TV commercials for ANY company.
    God bless your foundation and your endeavor to help America’s young people get into our hard-working ‘down&dirty’ Labor Trades. Union or NOT. This is America, we need skilled LABOR, and everyone should have a CHOICE where they work. Union or NOT.
    As the last bastion of affordable basic goods, Walmart sure doesn’t need to unionize, for if it did, the prices we’d all be paying will be a LOT higher, and in this day & age, we can barely afford to get weekly groceries & goods for the family, even on a union paycheck.

  16. Cindy Nowicki

    How many of these “supposed” Walmart workers will be “shills” paid for by the union agitators? Like previous protests by fast food workers, hotel employees etc, the overwhelming majority were NOT employees, but “paid” union thugs brought in to instigate, agitate and aggravate.

    1. AlCashier

      Not all union members are mindless communist democrats or jackbooting thugs. our family was over 55 years in a huge labor union who gives 76% of our hard-earned dues to the corrupt democrat party. since Day One in the 1950s, we were in this union because we all LOVED our trade –but if you do not join, you do not work in the entire area without getting beaten -or killed- by the goons & your equipment destroyed.. ..
      We have family in Another certain big labor union who had a chance to be PAID by their union to go protest Gov Scott Walker in WI a few years ago. they didn’t. they are US veterans and they (like us) do not believe in that.
      We sadly saw our own union local brothers! on tv at the WI protest, TOO. that was so sad, embarrassing!!, to see them -in our union jackets- acting like mindless ignorant Nazi thugs for the democrat Left. We’re American workers: we WORK, we PAY the TAXES that feeds the masses. We are not all Communist democrat shills.

      1. Cindy Nowicki

        Wholeheartedly agree with your comment. My husband, now retired, was also in the union for over 30 years. Back then, unions worked FOR the employees, unlike today. Now they work for themselves (living a rather lavish lifestyle) and the democratic party.

  17. ecoalex

    When you agree to participate in a commercial for a corporation, you are condoning what the corporation does.
    The erratic work scheduling is troubling, as many studies show this type of scheduling is bad for mental and physical health.Erratic scheduling is a form of worker abuse, and fortifies the spectre of the omnipotent employer- you obey -you are nothing- too bad if you don’t like it.
    Erratic scheduling is about power.It serves no other purpose.

    1. The King Slayer

      Own your life decisions, or change your life, There is
      opportunity stillout there. However the union have walmart workers all convice that they are the vitctim whereas it would serve them better to look for better opportunity. This is the union mantra right out of the communist play book.
      If you continue to head in the same direction you end up where you are heading…

  18. The King Slayer

    OK, So Mike Rowe did a spot for Walmart informing us about Walmarts pledge to sell more american goods that would 1, increase american productivity 2, add more skilled jobs to an anemic economy, thus creating more oppertunities other than Walmart. That shilll!! and that Mike Rowe foundation for helping teens get a carreer in skilled labor is a Koch Brothers front too!!
    If you are over the age of 30 and dont like working at Walmart dont blame Mike Rowe or Walmart.
    Own it! or change it….

    1. AlCashier

      = graph on how Koch Bros gave the LEAST in political donations, being far outspent by all democrat orgs.

      1. Terence Clark

        So you’re comparing Koch Industries’ direct contributions to the contributions of organizations George Soros contributes to? You know you are comparing apples and oranges, right? How about the organizations the Koch brothers contribute to vs organizations Soros contributes to (though I think that’s a meaningless measure) or Soros’ direct contributions vs the Koch’s direct contributions (no we’re talking meaningful numbers). Or maybe contributions from organizations including corporations and unions from both sides of the political fence. THAT would be apples and apples. Who knows, you might still be right. But this chart doesn’t prove that. It’s measuring two different things on the same chart.

        This chart is why we can’t have a reasonable conversation in this country. We haven’t a clue how to appropriately use the data we have at hand. And I’m not picking on conservatives. As a nation we suck at data interpretation. It makes for a lot of pointless shouting when half the time both sides are wrong at least in how they read the facts.

          1. Terence Clark

            I’m not trying to prove anything other than that this chart is bogus. It compares one man’s contributions to the contributions of every organization another man is involved in. It’s a misleading graph at best and a dishonest one at worst. That’s my only point, and all the evidence I need is in the chart itself. And the conclusion stands on its own without me having to get into the political argument itself. I’m not interested in a political tit-for-tat. If you’re looking for that, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

    2. herefornow

      AMERICAN WORKERS! Stand up and be heard.
      BOYCOTT Walmart’s valueless junk, as well as all KOCH manufactured, pollution-spewing products, for the benefit of our nation’s economic health, as well as our own.

    3. Aubretia Edick

      Guess what King Slayer, OUR Walmart is changing Walmart. We now have hours available to us, Walmart has changed their pregnancy policy, and Walmart is now acknowledging us.

  19. jimharvey

    Why don’t you socialist progressive useless fools do what this man has done. Encourage hard work and independence instead of slavery to the beast government.

  20. Glorious_Cause

    “Rowe is a republican”

    He’s the least partisan guy on the planet…what are you talking about?

  21. TheChicoSuave

    Our Country has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Lowering that would be a good start for higher wages. Our gov’t keeps sucking up all of the money to give to their friends to get elected again and again. Those are the blood suckers, not Walmart Executives or others that have created jobs. It is up to the individual to attain their goals of what it is they are striving for, not up to the company to hand it to them for simply showing up to do the job they were hired to do. I wish people would stop putting the responsibility of how much in individual makes on corporations or a business instead of the individual. The business owners are just trying to make a living also. They do not like paying people very little. They want their employees to be happy. They do not take joy in firing or laying off. They do not wish to see people hurting. Making business pay people more money makes those say people pay more for things they need, therefore the extra money simply goes down a deep, dark hole where the government is there swallowing up the increases. Think about it. When you make more money the government charges higher taxes and things cost more, so we all lose. The poor become poorer and our government becomes richer period.

  22. nerve_doc

    $250,000,000,000 is what Walmart is investing in American jobs. That billion with a B. What’s the problem? Is Walmart not cowering to some union? Let’s excoriate Walmart!! So juvenile.

    1. Dane

      You are comparing apples, to oranges,if a business will not pay living wages, and benefits, as well as respecting their workers rights,then they don’t have the right to exist.

        1. Dane

          Workers have the right to be treated with respect, and paid a decent living wage, they should not have to live in poverty, and fear of loosing their job for wanting respect, or missing a day because they are sick, or to not be harassed.

          1. Mark

            What is a living wage and isn’t respect earned and what do you consider poverty. Are rules of attendance set by a company supposed to be just thrown out because they aren’t fair.

          2. Dane

            You are a broken record, typical right wing idiot,workers are human beings, and deserve to be treated as such, and paid a living wage, if wages kept up with inflation minimum wage would be 20.00 an hour, to equal to 1968 levels,I know that is a concept that hard for you to accept, you have established that.

          3. Mark


          4. Dane

            So because someone may be short a skill, or maybe they do have the skill, that means they should work their ass off everyday, and have to rely on food stamps to eat, while you make billions? totally unacceptable, if you wont pay living wages, then your business has no right to exist.

          5. Mark

            Yes they should and if they think they are not making enough then go find another job. Dane, there are more happy Walmart employees than unhappy. All your side seeks to do is acquire or maintain union control of workers. To that end unions use dues money to influence government policy. Please explain to me why a teacher in a suburban school district would need union affiliation. Would it be so that if that teacher does not perform then there is no way to remove said teacher from their position. Why should a union dictate what wage a worker will receive and what hours they will work and not the business or government itself. There are enough labor laws in this country to account for fairness in the workplace. The UAW, USW and others are responsible for the condition of several cities in this country. Unions demand unsustainable wages and benefits that are not commensurate with the position that is compensated. Not all jobs deserve a “living” wage. They are not meant to be. To your way of thinking all jobs should be full time and everybody gets paid the same and receives generous benefits. That is called communism, and is unsustainable.

          6. Dane

            No” a business has no right to exist if they will not pay living wages,and treat employees with respect, and if there were such great job prospects, most wall mart employees would not be working there, so your lie, which is what it is about more of them being happy than not is exactly that, a lie, in fact most are afraid to speak up out of fear of being fired,as for your statement about union control, and using money to influence politics, that is another lie, unions are about democracy in the workplace, and workers as a group being able to bargain collectively for wages, and benefits, it is also a federal law that unions cannot use members dues for political purposes unless that member agrees to it, if not the union has to refund them the portion of the money,making that statement a lie as well,either that, or you haven’t a clue of how unions function, (turn off the right wing propaganda you are watching, and listening to) a teacher needs a union in a suburban school district for the same reason any teacher, would, democracy in the workplace,negotiated wages, and benefits, if anyone is going to be fired there should be a good reason for it, and the employer should have that burden of proof of a reason, and that all other options have been exercised first, and the burden of proof should be on the employer, and the worker should have adequate defense on their part,and the union does not decide woking hours, thats another lie you have in your head,and there are not enough labor laws, the ones we had have been obliviated by 33 years of Reaganomics, appointing corporate CEO’s to the NLRB is not helping workers, as for your lie about unions being responsible for the condition of towns, that is exactly that, a lie, the condition of our towns is a result of the trade policies of the last 33 years in this country, when a CEO is making 100 million a year I wouldn’t say unions are demanding unsustainable wages, not all jobs deserve a living wage? so we companies should have indentured servants, or slaves? what century are you living in? everyone should be paid the same for doing the same job, not doing so is called discrimination,OOOOHHHH” and the big C word, I was waiting for that,go take a political science class and learn what it means, because everytime you post back, you show how much more ignorant, and stupid you are Mr, either that or a plain jackass.

  23. Lisa Burke

    Regrettably, you chose not to post Mike Rowe’s response to your bullying letter. But it can be found on his Facebook page and it would only be fair for your supporters to read it. I am not impressed with JWJ at all.

  24. Terence Clark

    Seriously JWJ? Is this really the best use of your organization’s resources or those of Mike Rowe’s? One commercial is all you disagree on. In all other senses your organizations are clearly working for the same side. I don’t know a thing about how your organization runs or how you came to the conclusion that snail mail spamming his organization and fingering him as the enemy is good math for your goals. I can’t fathom how that math works out because as I see it this is a big distraction from what JWJ is supposed to be focused on. And you are causing a pretty monstrous distraction from what Mike Rowe’s organization is aimed at doing.

    And for what? Rowe’s organization has a specific focus that isn’t tailored well to sitting down with Walmart workers to discuss its employment practices. It’s not their mission or their expertise. And they have neither the funds nor the personnel to switch focus.

    And even if it was their focus, the kind of letter writing campaign you’ve engaged in is a pretty obnoxious and horrible way to go about it. And you claim to want to work with him. If this is how you treat organizations with similar goals, I wouldn’t want to work with you. Hats off to Rowe for dealing with you more sensibly than I think most people would. If you really want to cooperate with organizations such as his, I suggest you begin by looking up the definition of cooperate and let it sink in. Cliff notes version: Don’t spam them with insults and mass produced form letters.

      1. Terence Clark

        I forgot. The world is black and white and Walmart can never ever do anything right and we need to punish them, boycott them, and ignore them for always and at all times because of the things they are doing wrong.

        1. Dane

          Exactly,I don’t shop at places who screw their employees,then get tax subsidies, which are unavailable to local business people,if you shop there, then you are part of the problem.

          1. Terence Clark

            If your approach to issues you care about is to treat everyone and anyone who has even a slightly nuanced view of the topic as your opponent you aren’t just part of the problem, you are the whole of it.

      2. Terence Clark

        On a less snarky note, companies will never have any interest in improving their practices if all we ever do is punish them when they do things we disagree with and ignore the things they are doing that are beneficial. I don’t like how Walmart treats their employees either having worked for Walmart (and Target, and Best Buy). But conflating the two issues of supporting American manufacturing and treating employees better only serves to disincentivize the American manufacturing side, not improve the lot for current employees.

        In fact, the willingness to scuttle any and all beneficial programs they may engage in for the sake of the one they are failing on demonstrates you are a bad faith negotiator which gives Walmart every reason to completely disregard anything you have to say.

        Again, I’m not a Walmart cheerleader. I just think this approach of pinning Rowe to the wall for his commercial will only backfire. It’s a waste of time and damaging to the PR of those working toward the benefit of Walmart’s employees.

        1. Dane

          Not at all, the purpose is to get the word out about the evil empire wall mart is, who should be shamed.

          1. Terence Clark

            You think the people who shop at Walmart aren’t aware of the opinion you have regarding them? That Walmart treats its employees like crap is pretty well known. Shooting down Rowe’s commercial just makes you look petty and like you haven’t a clue how to distinguish between opponents and allies.

          2. Dane

            Not at all, the object is to shame them, and the people who shop there, because they are being part of the problem.

  25. greree

    No one is forcing people to work at Walmart. If you don’t think you’re getting paid enough, go work somewhere else. Why is that so hard to figure out? And why are you sending spam emails to Mike Rowe? He was hired to do a voiceover for a commercial. He’s not in charge of pay at Walmart. Why are you wasting your time?

  26. Joseph Haynes

    Why a sudden hate for Mike Rowe? And please, we’re all adults here, don’t disguise it as something other than hate. It’s confusing to me that you could/would alienate one of the greatest warriors for the very cause you’re fighting for. He’s just not doing it with blades as you are. If you wanted his help, you certainly should have been a hell of a lot nicer and more respectful about it. Using longer words and stretching your sentences does not equate to respect. It’s insulting in a way that’s view-able to the public. You will no longer have my support.

      1. Terence Clark

        The letter may not have, but the supporters that were set loose on his organization have been sending numerous insulting letters and a handful of death threats almost daily. So yeah, hate.

        1. Terence Clark

          Are you kidding me? I’ve never voted conservative in my life and I support pretty much only liberal causes. I’m outspoken on evironmental issues and gay rights issues as well as workers rights. I sat up all night protesting in the Wisconsin state capitol over the teacher’s union rights. I just think your circular firing squad approach is counter-productive. As demonstrated by this bone-headed comment. The world might just be more complex than you think it is. And your own causes might benefit a little if you realize that.

          1. Dane

            I traveled to Wisconsin from Washington state to support the protesters,I also helped a protest outside the Seattle Hilton Hotel, the let Scott Walker know he wasn’t welcome here either, you are still full of it about liberals making death threats to anyone, it doesn’t exist,as for Mike Rowe, he needs to be shamed into not doing commercials for Wal Mart, that doesn’t meant anyone including me hates him.

          2. Terence Clark

            Fair enough. You are apparently fully committed to shooting your own movement in the foot. Carry on.

          3. Mark

            Why don’t you get the education and quit paying homage to those that keep everybody under the shackle of an oppressive government.

          4. Dane

            Like said, go get an education, turn off the fox news, and Rush Limbaugh, the only shackles on anyone are corporate control due to 33 years of Reaganomics.

  27. Linda

    You know you are truly making an a$$ out of yourselves right? You could have had this mans support. Instead you have sent 9000 letters based on the LIE that he is a WalMart Spokesman. Why not LISTEN to the man and LOOK UP his foundation! Not impressed at all with this SHILL of a foundation! Not happy at WalMart? Leave! Go back and learn a skill! Use his foundation. Name calling and bogus letter campaigns will NOT help the average WalMart worker! Education and obtaining skills will!

    1. Terence Clark

      Given Rowe called out, in specific, name calling like “shill” as a tactic he was bothered by and also given he has actually come out in support of improving working conditions at places like Walmart, I think you’re going about it all the wrong way here. We need improving skills AND improving Walmart working conditions, not just one or the other. And that’s why JWJ’s move makes little sense, not because Rowe’s approach is better, but because they’re both working toward the same goal, but from different angles. You’re just propagating the faux conflict from the other side.

  28. Terence Clark

    Seriously, folks, read Rowe’s page. His organization IS in support of people improving their skills to find better employment, but if you read his response, I’m fairly certain he’s not for shouting “get a better job!” at Walmart workers. This is not an either or proposition and making it a matter of “Rowe’s way is better” is missing the point in exactly the same way as JWJ’s approach to Rowe. There isn’t a conflict between the two approaches and we’d all be better served if we quit throwing rocks at each other’s methods and got back to supporting workers, Walmart and otherwise.

  29. Laura Manzanilla

    JWJ, This social media campaign will not become the platform for winning
    sentiment and furthering your initiative. You are dividing your
    audience. If you are tracking social sentiment, then track this as a negative post. You will get more success focusing on other tactics.

  30. liberalism is america cancer

    I praise Mike Rowe, he understands capitalism unlike the trash at the SEIU, Jimmy Hoffa, and that commie TRUMKA. They are leaches that live like kings by shafting the working man. They are the real enemies.

    1. Dane

      Actually capitalism has failed most of us, making your statement untrue, the only leeches are the so called capitalists themselves.

      1. Maurice Cobbs

        Dane, it is often better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

        1. Terence Clark

          There you go. You’ve shown yourself to be pretty simple minded on this whole issue. I was waiting for the unprovoked profanity. That was the missing piece.

  31. Maurice Cobbs

    What on Earth are you people hoping to accomplish by having Mike Rowe ‘meet’ with these so-called ‘real’ Wal-Mart employees?

    Mike Rowe does not work for Wal-Mart.

    Mike Rowe is not a spokesman for Wal-Mart.

    Mike Rowe is not a representative of Wal-Mart.

    Having Mike Rowe ‘meet’ with ‘real’ Wal-Mart workers would be the equivalent of having Morgan Freeman, who once narrated a documentary about penguins, meet with penguins to hear stories of how they are attacked by leopard seals.

    What you are doing is creating controversy where none should exist, and distracting from work that is far more important and effective at lifting people out of poverty than anything you are doing. It is making you look foolish.

    1. Dane

      People working for 7.25 an hour, while wall mart makes billions a year, is not lifting them out of poverty.

      1. Terence Clark

        So fix the problem, but stop attacking people trying to fix a separate but related problem of people stuck in positions they don’t want due to lack of skills and training.

          1. Terence Clark

            You and JWJ are rhetorically attacking Rowe by engaging in an unproductive letter writing campaign against his organization. You want to support Walmart’s workers, do so. You think that boycotting them will achieve that? Don’t shop there. I don’t. But yes, from an organizational standpoint this campaign against Rowe by JWJ is an attack.

      2. Maurice Cobbs

        In addition to the other things Mike Rowe has no input on, Mike Rowe does not determine Wal-Mart salaries.

        What Mike Rowe does do is to subsidize apprenticeships and job training to help people obtain jobs that pay well and need to be filled.

        Which helps to lift them out of poverty.

        Unlike what you’re doing.

        1. Dane

          Doing commercials promoting them is promoting their policies, just like spending money there does, which is why I don’t shop there, or anyplace else who treats their employees like shit.

          1. Dane

            I create jobs when I spend money, if i have no money to spend, then the cashier gets laid off, the server at the restaurant gets laid off, and down the line, this is a consumer driven economy,contrary to the bullshit you preach.

  32. Bill M

    So, let me get this right. What your saying is that a person who accepts a job, (or money) from Wal-Mart becomes responsible for the actions of the company? By that logic, you don’t need Mike Rowe, you have thousands of people already that you can dialog with.

  33. lowfiron

    I have not looked into it but does Mike endorse unions? If he does not a skilled worker, or not, does not have any leverage to negotiate a fair wage, get a good pension (401k’s are a rip off) or health care-insurance.
    I’m all for apprenticeship- I was an apprentice, it’s a good thing. Unions promoted and facilitated apprenticeships.

  34. Micheal Heathman

    Walmart is owned by greedy Arkansas hillbillies.. The store was started by a polyester suit wearing hillbilly who wore a foam ball cap and forced employees to perform Walmart chants before shift
    They sell crap and treat their employees like crap. Mike Rowe was on Anderson Cooper explaining his connection with Walmart. I thought he came off as arrogant and misinformed. A prick trying too defend an indefensible position.
    Check out Michael Moore documentary about Walmart.

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