Congressional Democrats Point Finger of Blame at Wal-Mart

MARCH 8, 2004 - Posted at 7:30 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON, DC - Several Democrats in Congress say Arkansas-based Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is so obsessed with cutting costs that it treats its employees shoddily.  And the politicians accuse the company of maintaining trade practices that cost Americans jobs.  Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who owns many shares of Wal-Mart, says the company's treatment of its workers is "disgraceful."

But the company says its critics are misinformed or basing their opinions on inaccurate figures.  Wal-Mart spokeswoman Mona Williams says Wal-Mart stores and their "everyday low prices" are an asset, helping meet the needs of low-income workers who have to live paycheck to paycheck.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)