This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 30, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Back of the Book" segment tonight, Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer chain store, announced that sales are basically flat and actually dropped in November for the first time in 10 years. Now, this may be because there's a bitter dispute between some labor unions and Wal-Mart over the company's policies.
Take a look at this commercial, paid for by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARMAINE GIVENS, WAL-MART ASSOCIATE: What are Wal-Mart's values? I'll tell you. Salary caps.
RAMIRO GONZALEZ, WAL-MART ASSOCIATE: Poverty wages.
GIVENS: Unaffordable healthcare.
GONZALEZ: Locking employees into stores.
CYNTHIA MURRAY, WAL-MART ASSOCIATE: We even get punished if we have to leave to take care of a sick child.
GIVENS: We don't deserve to be treated this way.
MURRAY: Sam Walton would have never treated us this way. Never.
GIVENS: There's $11 billion in profit. It doesn't need to be this way.
MURRAY: This holiday season...
GONZALEZ: ... tell Wal-mart to do the right thing.
GIVENS: Put America's families first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: With us now, Elizabeth McDonald, senior editor of Forbes magazine.
You know, it's hard to say, because research hasn't been done, but Wal-Mart's been under siege by these kinds of very personal attacks for a couple of years.
ELIZABETH MCDONALD, SENIOR EDITOR, FORBES: Yes, they have. Absolutely.
O'REILLY: And do you think it's taken its toll on the consumer? Do you think the consumer now doesn't like the brand anymore?
MCDONALD: Well, I do think it is taking its toll on the consumer, because the consumer sees this commercial and thinks, "Look, we're not going to shop at a company or store, rather, that really is abusive to their employees." That's the message.
And also, Wal-Mart, over the past couple of years, has made a conscious effort to fight back and get their own side of the story.
Look, what's going on here is that Wal-Mart is putting a lot of inefficient businesses out of business, meaning Calzore's, Ames, A&P. Those businesses had higher union workers. Those union workers were paying dues to the unions.
MCDONALD: So of course, the unions are trying — they've been trying for years to get Wal-Mart to unionize, and Wal-Mart won't. That's why you see attack commercials like this.
O'REILLY: OK. But is there a legitimate point that Wal-Mart is exploiting their employees? Is there any legitimacy to that?
MCDONALD: The thing of it is, there's a lot of knee-jerk journalism. I mean, the description is that Wal-Mart is hot molten evil. But you have to stand back and look at Wal-Mart unobjectively.
And that is that two-thirds of their employees are college students, the elderly or second-family earners, meaning that they get health insurance from other places. So 90 percent of Wal-Mart workers apparently do have healthcare coverage. So it's not — it is an attack, and it's unfair.
By the way, a lot of grocery stores were not providing healthcare coverage for their workers. So you know, these are jobs such as stocking shelves or being a cashier or being a greeter at the door. It's very hard to find a job that will provide that kind of health care coverage.
Wal-Mart does provide healthcare coverage. But...
O'REILLY: And the trade-off is that it gives working Americans a place to buy products at a much lower price...
O'REILLY: ... so that working Americans benefit, because its keeps its overhead down. However, you know, as devastating as that is, you're making $11 billion in profit. Can you kick back a little to the folks?
MCDONALD: The thing of it is healthcare coverage is a problem. And these are the exact people, you know, who work at grocery stores that should get coverage.
But by the way, Blue Cross/Blue Shield runs billion dollar surpluses. You don't see them giving that money back to lower their rates.
O'REILLY: All right. If you were running Wal-Mart, would you be concerned about these attacks?
MCDONALD: Absolutely. And what I would do is immediately try to do something about health care coverage. That seems to be the most serious issue.
O'REILLY: All right. So you would? You'd look at it, and you'd say, "OK, our image is getting pummeled."
O'REILLY: And we really should try to upgrade our system here to give our folks a little bit more.
MCDONALD: Absolutely and maybe the unions will stand down. I doubt it. They're in it...
O'REILLY: No, they'll still attack.
MCDONALD: They'll still attack, but they want...
O'REILLY: Right, but they won't have as much ammunition to do it.
MCDONALD: That's right.
O'REILLY: Last question, the FOX News Channel, interestingly enough, is parallel. We've been attacked for 10 years by our competitors and others who don't like the editorial bent. And some of those attacks have been effective in driving people who don't know the channel, who don't watch the channel: "Oh, that FOX News."
And then when you say what's wrong with it, they go, "I don't watch it." You know, that kind of a thing.
Is there a danger that Wal-Mart is losing people who don't even know what Wal-Mart does?
MCDONALD: Yes, there will be a danger. When commercials like this are out and people see it, they second-guess themselves and they say, "Wait a second. What is this brand doing to its workers?" Because people really don't want to shop at a company where there might be problems.
O'REILLY: And there's no — right. They don't want to hurt the folks. It's no accident these commercials are running around Christmastime.
MCDONALD: That's right.
O'REILLY: Right. They're trying — the unions are trying to hurt them. Vicious war. Interesting war.
O'REILLY: Elizabeth, thanks very much. Good to see you again.
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