An Unfortunate Spot On "The List?

   By drodriguez  Sep 14, 2008

One list everyone may soon be trying to avoid is the “MisFortune 500” list, a parody of Fortune magazine’s annual list of the top profit-making companies. MisFortune 500 exposes and challenges financially successful corporations that have violated women’s rights and harm the environment.

Teamed with the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), MisFortune 500 considers itself an advocate for women’s rights and equality in the workplace. According to the website’s mission statement MisFortune 500 works to “empower women as decision-makers to achieve economic, social and gender justice, a healthy, peaceful planet and human rights for all.”

So who has been unfortunate enough to make the MisFortune 500 list? The lengthy list includes big name companies like Wal-Mart whose company’s past misconduct includes maternity wage discrimination, sexual harassment, and union-busting (among many other listed complaints and charges).

Another top profit-making company on the list is the Exxon Mobil Corporation for supporting repressive governments, discrimination against employee sexual orientation, and employee fatalities. MisFortune 500 documents a business’s “wrong doings”, but also incorporates a section called “company response” which allows corporations to explain what actions they have taken to correct past problems.

MisFortune 500 also has a section that lists companies who have consistently used fair employee business practices. It is no surprise that the “good practices” list is significantly shorter than the list of companies who violate employee rights.

Watchdog organizations like MisFortune 500 hold powerful corporations accountable for the many crimes that have been brought up against them. The unflattering spotlight that the MisFortune list shines on companies is a very promising catalyst for change and improvement of practices.

What do you think of the MisFortune 500 website?

Will the current MisFortune 500 list affect the way you make your purchases in the future?

Make a Comment

sharman421 by sharman421 | TALLAHASSEE, FL
Sep 22, 2007

It's sad. There are so many pros and cons to corporations like Wal-Mart, for instance, particularly when you look at the global picture. Yes, a poor factory worker in Guatamala or Honduras might make only pennies a day, with no benefits, making products Wal-Mart will eventually sell for a great price (by our standards) and a great profit. If she takes home 20 or 30 dollars a month, that is horrific by OUR standards. I wonder, however, what it means by her standards? Do a few American dollars mean more and go farther in a third world country? Can they feed their families on less than we can? Can their standard of living even be compared? Is providing a job, any job, better than doing nothing at all? My main concern with companies like Wal-Mart (and any other major department stores, for that matter) is the "Made in China" factor. Are we feeding an economy that pours most of its profits into building their military? That gives me pause.

pinkheathermm by pinkheathermm | SINGER, LA
Sep 14, 2007

I also agree, but not only abuse of women but of Anyone! There should be more organizations like MisFortune 500 to get the word out. These companies can't continue misconduct if they are not getting support.

AndyAndy by AndyAndy | Brooklyn, NY
Sep 12, 2007

I think this is a great idea. It is rare to find someone holding organizations with these types of practices accountable for their actions. I would consult a list like this before I made my purchases. I mean, who wants to support a company that is abusive to its employees?