Jeremy Bishop, program director of Pride at Work slammed the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce upon the announcement of the Chamber entering into partnership with Wal-Mart Stores, the nation’s largest retailer.
Bishop quoted from the NGLCC mission statement in a phone interview with PageOneQ. “The mission statement says it is committed ‘to forming a broad-based coalition of LGBT owned and friendly businesses.’ We’re not exactly sure how Wal-Mart fits into the LGBT friendly business category,” he said. “In fact, We’re not sure how Wal-Mart fits into anything worker friendly.”
Wal-Mart and the Chamber have announced a partnership which will include Wal-Mart sponsorship of the organization’s events through the end of the year, as well as support of Chamber initiatives.
As part of the agreement, Dee Breazeale, a vice president of Sam’s Club Jewelry, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart, will serve on the NGLCC’s Corporate Advisory Council.
“We are honored to have Wal-Mart’s support of the NGLCC. Our partnership will not only provide more opportunities for the NGLCC, but the business community as a whole,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson in a statement.
In an interview with PageOneQ, Nelson defended the alliance by saying it would help “LGBT businesses and entrepreneurs be a part of the largest supply chain in the United States.”
Bishop countered the benefits of the alliance saying his organization would rather the Chamber “Encourage the NGLCC to demand that Wal-Mart create ‘friendly’ practices, of say, paying their employees above poverty line wages, offering affordable health care, and when that is done, they could think about offering domestic partner benefits and dealing with the massive class action lawsuit facing them regarding gender discrimination,” he added.