Selling Women Short
The Landmark Battle for Workers’ Rights at Wal-Mart
By Liza Featherstone
On television, Wal-Mart employees are smiling women delighted with their jobs. But reality is another story. In 2000, Betty Dukes, a 52-year-old black woman in Pittsburg, California, became the lead plaintiff in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, a class action representing 1.4 million women. In an explosive investigation of this historic lawsuit, journalist Liza Featherstone reveals how Wal-Mart, a self-styled “family-oriented,” Christian company:
— Deprives women (but not men) of the training they need to advance
— Relegates women to lower-paying jobs, like selling baby clothes, reserving the more lucrative positions for men
— Inflicts punitive demotions on employees who object to discrimination
— Exploits Asian women in its sweatshops in Saipan, a U.S. commonwealth.
Featherstone reveals the creative solutions Wal-Mart workers around the country have found-like fighting for unions, living-wage ordinances, and childcare options. Selling Women Short combines the personal stories of these employees with superb investigative journalism to show why women who work low-wage jobs are getting a raw deal, and what they are doing about it.
“Selling Women Short is a bargain even Wal-Mart can’t match. Not only does it tell the story of the amazing women who’ve sued Wal-Mart for sex discrimination, but it offers an unprecedented glimpse into Wal-Mart’s pseudo-Christian, ultra-macho, corporate culture.”—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch
“A must read for an understanding of the new service economy and the risks it poses to the United States and the world.”—Frances Fox Piven, author of Labor Parties in Postindustrial Societies and Poor People’s Movements
“Lisa Featherstone has written a women’s rights manifesto for the corporate age and a Fast Food Nation of the retail world–utterly engrossing, sometimes shocking, and deeply inspiring. A devastating story, superbly told. This is a breakthrough book.”—Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo
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