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'Love Mom, Not Wal-Mart' Campaign Targets Retailer

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

A new coalition has just kicked off a campaign called Love Mom, Not Wal-Mart. The groups include labor unions, advocates for women and members of Congress. It is intended to pressure the company to increase its wages for female employees. Plus a million and a half women have signed on to a class-action lawsuit against the company. The suit alleges that the women were assigned to lower-level jobs than men.

Wal-Mart's chief executive, Lee Scott, adamantly defends the company's employment practices. He argues that the company pays more than most other retailers and offers better opportunities. His evidence: long lines of applications for jobs at Wal-Mart. A new store in Glendale, Arizona, attracted 8,000 job applicants for 525 jobs. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the United States with 3,700 stores. Most of the workers in those Wal-Mart stores earn less than $19,000 a year.

This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Renee Montagne, one of the best-known names in public radio, is a special correspondent and host for NPR News.