Washington, DC, United States (NewsBahn) – President Obama is drawing criticism in some quarters for his choice of a Northern California Wal-Mart as a place to make a speech on energy Friday.
A Wal-Mart employee and a former government official were among those to take Obama to task for what they consider the company’s low pay and poor working conditions.
“Wal-Mart is one of the nation’s largest and worst employers – low wages, unreliable hours, few benefits, discrimination against women, and anti-union,” said former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich in a Facebook posting.
A Mountain View, Calif., Walmart employee for four years, Pat Ramos, said that “when I heard President Obama was visiting my store, I wanted to tell him what income inequality really looks like – right here working at a company that made $17 billion last year.”
Ramos complained of low wages in a Salon op-ed.
White House officials defended the president’s choice of location due to what they see as the company’s commitment to double its amount of solar energy projects in the U.S.
“The Wal-Mart commitment is a significant commitment, and that’s one of the reasons the president is going to be there,” said Dan Utech, special assistant to Obama for energy and climate change.