A Twitter spat over the election becomes a reminder of how many U.S. companies- including Walmart- still rely on forced labor.
“Boycott Walmart” trended on Twitter Wednesday after a member of the Official Walmart social media team launched a tweet at Senator Josh Hawley, for saying he would challenge the electoral votes on January 6.
Senator Hawley released a statement on Twitter concerning the 2020 election, which read, “following both the 2004 and 2016 elections, Democrats in Congress objected during the certification of electoral votes in order to raise concerns about election integrity. They were praised by Democratic leadership and the media when they did.”
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws,” he continued. “And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden. At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections. But Congress has so far failed to act.”
“For these reasons, I will follow the same practice Democrat members of Congress have in years past and object during the certification process on January 6 to raise these critical issues,” he added.
Walmart’s official Twitter account wrote in reply, “Go ahead. Get your 2 hour debate. #soreloser[.]” The tweet was later removed.
Senator Hawley posted a picture of the insult and wrote on Twitter, “Thanks @Walmart for your insulting condescension. Now that you’ve insulted 75 million Americans, will you at least apologize for using slave labor?”
“Or maybe you’d like to apologize for the pathetic wages you pay your workers as you drive mom and pop stores out of business,” he continued.
Within hours the #BoycottWalmart hashtag was trending on Twitter, as both left wing and right wing critics of Walmart cited the company’s labor and environmental malpractices and ties to China. Walmart released a statement on its Twitter account apologizing to Hawley.
“The tweet published earlier was mistakenly posted by a member of our social media team,” the statement read. “We deleted the post and have no intention of commenting on the subject of certifying the electoral college. We apologize to Senator Hawley for this error and any confusion about our position.”
Chris Hayers, host of MSNBC show “All in with Chris”, made an attempt to call out Senator Hawley for his condemnation of Walmart. He wrote on Twitter “Again, this this weird phenomenon where all politicians are increasingly just *posters*. He’s a senator! What has he done about the wages? What has his actual lawmaking done about this problem?”
However, had Hayes done a quick internet search, he would’ve found that Senator Hawley introduced legislation to hold American companies accountable for slave labor in their supply chains in July.
The Slave-Free Business Certification Act (S. 4241), Hawley introduced would increase corporate supply chain disclosure requirements, mandate regular audits, require Chief Executive Officers to certify that their companies’ supply chains do not rely on forced, slave labor, and creates penalties for firms that fail basic minimum standards for human rights.
Senator Hawley has long been focused on small businesses and is one of the most vocal Republican critics of small corporations like Amazon and the “Big Tech monopolists.”
(Contributing journalist, Allegra Nokaj) (Contributing writer, Brooke Bell)