On Nov. 10, UFCW OUTreach and Making Change at Walmart (MCAW) issued a statement in response to Walmart’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) rating suspension by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for lack of proper enforcement mechanisms against LGBTQ discrimination in its stores. Issued by the HRC, the CEI rates LGBTQ equality at U.S. corporations, including Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of mid to large-size businesses. This rating has been credited with helping employers become attuned to LTBTQ issues in the workplace and directing LGBTQ consumers to which companies are LGBTQ supportive. Both OUTreach and MCAW, in collaboration with the AFL-CIO’s Pride at Work, are utilizing resources to publicize this information to the LGBTQ community, our allies, and the general public.
The UFCW OUTreach and MCAW statement reads as follows:
“For too long, Walmart will tell the media one thing, while it does another to its employees. HRC cites Walmart for not enforcing its LGTBQ policies, ‘leaving transgender and other LGBT workers vulnerable to severe and pervasive harassment and discrimination.’ It speaks volumes to the negative culture the Walmart corporation continues to promote. The question is when will the media and our elected leaders start holding Walmart accountable for what it does and not what it says?” said MCAW Director Randy Parraz.
“While we’re not surprised, we are extremely disappointed with Walmart’s cited failures to address LGBTQ inequality in the workplace. The LGBTQ community deserves to know the full truth about Walmart and why they should spend their dollars elsewhere. It’s time we use our purchasing power to send a message that Walmart will hear. We urge LGBTQ workers, their families, and our many allies to support transgender workers by spreading the word that companies like Walmart can’t buy us off by sponsoring a Pride event here or there – we demand real action at the workplace or we will not shop there,” said UFCW OUTreach Chair Michele Kessler.
Kessler and Executive Director of Pride at Work Jerame Davis also published an op-ed in The Advocate regarding Walmart’s CEI rating suspension. You can read the full op-ed here.