|If you shop at Wal-Mart, PLEASE STOP! Wal-Mart owns over 1000 warehouses / sweatshops overseas and they use slave labor to produce the goods that you buy every time you make a purchase from them. The young children that Wal-Mart employ's are paid between .18 - .33 cents per hour, and forced to work between 13 and 17 hours every day. Employees are forced to live and work in unsanitary conditions and recieve no health benefits at all. Now, think about it.....If you continue to buy from Wal-Wart, you are no better than the Wal-Mart employee's running the Sweatshops overseas. Just because you can't see it going on - Dosen't mean it isn't taking place! And it will continue to do so until you stop shopping at Wal-Mart and Sams Club nationwide. Think about the young children slaving in these warehouses....what if it was your children and no one cared? Every child there has a mother and a father, they are real people! Do you care more about saving a dollar on your purchase at Wal-Mart & Sams Club, than you do these children? If you do, then there is no need to read on...And may God have mercy on your soul come Judgement Day.|
|No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Mammon is money). Matthew 6:24 & Luke 16:13|
|Jury Rules Wal-Mart Must Pay $172 Million Over Meal Breaks
By LISA ALCALAY KLUG
Published: December 23, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif., Dec. 22 - A California jury on Thursday ordered Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, to pay $172 million in damages for failing to provide meal breaks to nearly 116,000 hourly workers as required under state law.
The verdict came after a trial that lasted more than three months in a class-action suit filed at Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland.
The suit, filed on behalf of employees of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores in California, argued that the chain violated state law more than eight million times from Jan. 1, 2001, to May 6, 2005, said the plaintiffs' lawyer, Jessica Grant of the Furth Firm of San Francisco.
California law requires that employers provide a meal break of 30 minutes for every five hours on the clock, Ms. Grant said. If the break is shorter than that, provided late or not at all, the employer must pay an hour's pay, she said.
"What happened here is that Wal-Mart didn't make a single payment for 2001 and 2002 and only started paying in 2003 after we asked for permission to go forward as a class action," Ms. Grant said.
Responding to the verdict, Wal-Mart issued a statement saying that it planned to appeal, that the decision was unique to California and that it had no bearing on any other state.
Wal-Mart is facing similar cases in about 40 other states, Ms. Grant said.
The jury ordered the company to pay $57 million in general damages and $115 million in punitive damages.
"It sends a very strong message to Wal-Mart that it is not acceptable to work employees 7, 8, 9, 10 hours a day without meal breaks," Ms. Grant said.
A work law expert, Gillian Lester, a visiting professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley, said: "This in an important verdict. I agree with the plaintiff's attorneys that this is going to be an influential decision."
In its statement, Wal-Mart said it had "acknowledged it had compliance issues when the statute became effective in 2001."
"Wal-Mart has since taken steps to ensure all associates receive their meal periods, including adopting new technology that sends alerts to cashiers when it is time for their meal breaks," the statement read. "The system will automatically shut down registers if the cashier does not respond."
Holiday Gifts from Chinese Sweatshops
Human rights groups urge holiday shoppers to steer clear of Wal-Mart.
Epoch Times New York Staff
Dec 19, 2005
NEW YORK — Many New York area holiday shoppers may be headed to Wal-Mart this holiday season in search of affordable gifts for their friends and relatives. And why not? Wal-Mart has an enormous selection at prices that just cannot be found elsewhere. But have bargain seekers asked themselves how this is accomplished? Just how does Wal-Mart keep their prices so much lower than their competitors?
At a press conference last Friday in Midtown Manhattan, members of the National Labor Committee and China Labor Watch provided the public with an answer. According to their research, Wal-Mart operates over 1,000 "secret" factories in China. One of these, a factory in Lungcheong, requires its workers to work 13 hour days, six to seven days a week, for as little as 18-33 cents an hour — well below the already abysmal Chinese minimum wage.
Mr. Li Qiang of China Labor Watch said that his organization has been at the forefront of a push to publicize the awful conditions at Lungcheong and other sweatshop locations. He stressed that the Chinese government is complicit in the human rights violations that occur on a regular basis at these factories, as they allow Wal-Mart to circumvent Chinese law.
"We are a small organization and we obviously have no way of investigating all of the factories, plus they are all secret," said Li, "but we hope that they will change conditions not only in these two factories, but in all factories throughout China. They need to absolutely publicize what factories they work in. This is the only way to have a good beginning, to have a positive change."
Charles Kernaghan, an executive director of the National Labor Committee (NLC), says that it is Wal-Mart's willingness to continue to roll back their production costs, always at the cost of the worker, that has created the especially appalling situation in these Chinese factories.
"At some point that model cannot go forward unless you begin to drag wages down across the developing world, eliminate benefits, and 'roll back' respect for women's rights, and workers rights, and human rights," he said.
Wal-Mart claims that it has addressed these concerns by adopting methods of internal regulation and corporate standards that supposedly aim to combat these types of workers exploitation and abuse, but the NLC is convinced that these measures are largely ineffective.
For instance, it has a policy to not require its employees to work "forced overtime" and to pay employees for every hour worked. But it also has a rigid internal system that forbids managers from scheduling employees for on-the-clock overtime in all almost all circumstances.
And, at least in China, it is documented that laborers are routinely forced to work days in excess of 11-13 hours. "It's a deliberate effort to confuse the American people with a corporate code of conduct and internal regulations that have never actually worked," said Kernaghan.
So, what can be done this holiday season to help brighten the lives of these desperate Chinese workers?
Mr. Li strongly urges American consumers of Chinese goods, at Wal-Mart and other stores of its kind, to take it upon themselves to send a message to these companies that their business practices are unacceptable. "Americans should put pressure on Wal-Mart to change the situation there, and to follow Chinese law in China," said Li.
Photo- WHATS BEHIND THOSE LOW LOW PRICES? Bargain Hunters getting a jump on holiday sales last month at Wal-Mart. Human rights groups point to abusive labor conditions in China as key to Wal-Mart's competitive edge. (Benjamin Youngquest/The Epoch Times)