Saturday, April 18, 2009

Most evil companies in the world

Contribute your own nomination ofthe most evil companies in the world here. The list so far (not in order of evilness):

1. De Beers, whose founder Cecil Rhodes believed:

“We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labor that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories.” [So not much has changed in a century].

Mark Twain's summation of Rhodes: "I admire him, I frankly confess it; and when his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake." From Chapter LXIX of Following the Equator.

2. Bechtel
3. Blackwater
4. Rio Tinto
5. Siemens
6. Custer Battles
7. Congo Free State
8. DynCorp
9. James Hardie
10. Chiquita/United Fruit

11. Ford Motors - Adolf Hitler kept a life-size portrait of Ford next to his desk. "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration," Hitler told a Detroit News reporter two years before becoming the Chancellor of Germany in 1933. In July 1938, four months after the German annexation of Austria, Ford was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest medal awarded by Nazi Germany to foreigners.

12. Walmart - From AP:
JACKSON, Mo. -- A collision with a semi-trailer truck seven years ago left 52-year-old Deborah Shank permanently brain-damaged and in a wheelchair. Her husband, Jim, and three sons found a small source of solace: a $700,000 accident settlement from the trucking company involved. After legal fees and other expenses, the remaining $417,000 was put in a special trust. It was to be used for Mrs. Shank's care.

Instead, all of it is now slated to go to Mrs. Shank's former employer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Two years ago, the retail giant's health plan sued the Shanks for the $470,000 it had spent on her medical care. A federal judge ruled last year in Wal-Mart's favor, backed by an appeals-court decision in August. Now, her family has to rely on Medicaid and Mrs. Shank's social-security payments to keep up her round-the-clock care.

Since then, her son was killed in Iraq.

[Updated Info from a reader, Sheri, who informs me Walmart did eventually give the money back to Deborah Shank, after much public outcry. I noted a good company would not have taken the money in the first place, especially one for whom USD470,000 is pocket change. Walmart is the world's largest public corporation by revenue, according to the 2008 Fortune Global 500. Four of the Walmart heirs (although only 2 are involved in the running of the company) are living off more than USD23 BILLION EACH.

13. Whole Foods
14. ExxonMobil
15. Nestle
16. Smithfield Farms
17. Union Carbide


Sheri said...

FWIW (and I'm not defending Wal-Mart), but the Deborah Shank info you posted is inaccurate: Wal-Mart officials changed their mind after a public outcry, and let her keep the $470,000. Google "Deborah Shank wal-mart" and you'll find a number of stories dating from around 28 March 2008 stating this (I found stories on msnbc, cnn and abc). Here's a link to one:

Diana Saw said...

Hi Sheri, thanks for that. Still, I think it says a lot about Walmart that it tried to take the money away from Deborah Shank in the first place, and only returning it because of public outcry. An evil score in my book!


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