business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Biloxi Sun Herald reports that Wal-Mart plans to open a new format store this weekend in Waveland, Mississippi – a “Wal-Mart Express” that will focus on products necessary for people trying to recover from the region’s recent natural disasters.

This follows the decision recently by Best Buy to do a similar thing – open a “Best Buy Overstock & Commercial Sales” store that carried value-priced items relevant to disaster recovery.

USA Today reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents raided a Wal-Mart construction site in Butler Township, Pennsylvania, yesterday and arrested more than 120 people accused of being illegal immigrants.

The location was the site of a new distribution center that reportedly is nearing completion.

There were, predictably, differing reactions to the arrests.

Wal-Mart said that the arrested workers were employed by a subcontractor, which was obligated to follow federal, state and local laws. The company said that its contracts with such companies required that they be in compliance with immigration laws.

Anti-Wal-Mart activists, however, suggested that this event will further tarnish Wal-Mart’s image. The retailer paid an $11 million fine earlier this year, without admitting guilt, to settle a case in which it was charged with knowingly using companies that hired illegal immigrants to clean its stores.
KC's View:
We felt sort of like Claude Rains when we read this story – “shocked, shocked” that illegal immigrants are being employed on construction sites.

The anti-Wal-Mart activists should look for another issue. We can’t figure out how Wal-Mart is responsible for this one.