"After waging an aggressive public relations campaign against Wal-Mart for three years, the company’s full-time, union-backed critics, who once vowed never to let up, are putting down their cudgels," writes Michael Barbaro. The critics are Wal-Mart Watch, sponsored by Andy Stern and his Service Employees International Union, and WakeUpWalmart, which is financed by the United Food and Commercial Workers union. According to Barbaro, the friendlier relationship between the unions and Wal-Mart led the company to disband its controversial front group, Working Families for Wal-Mart. "Shrill condemnations and embarrassing leaked documents are giving way to acknowledgments of progress -- and, in the case of Wal-Mart Watch, free advice." Through targeted labor and environmental initiatives, Wal-Mart has left its critics "navigating a complex situation in which they have to decide, issue by issue, whether to shake hands with the company or to slap it."
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