Walmart Strong Advocate for Cutting Fire Prevention Upgrades in Bangladesh

“…two officials who attended a meeting held in Bangladesh in 2011 to discuss factory safety in the garment industry said on Wednesday that the Walmart official there played the lead role in blocking an effort to have global retailers pay more for apparel to help Bangladesh factories improve their electrical and fire safety.

Ineke Zeldenrust, international coordinator for the Clean Clothes Campaign, an anti-sweatshop group based in Amsterdam, said Walmart was the company that “most strongly advocated this position.

“… According to the minutes of the meeting, which were made available to The Times, Sridevi Kalavakolanu, a Walmart director of ethical (sic!) sourcing, along with an official from another major apparel retailer, noted that the proposed improvements in electrical and fire safety would involve as many as 4,500 factories and would be “in most cases” a “very extensive and costly modification.

NY Times

I wonder if Walmart Ethical sourcing is paying for the funerals? Still too costly?

Burials on Nov. 27 for some of the 112 victims of the garment factory fire in Bangladesh

More Labor Bashing at Walmart

My goodness, on top of paying $9.10 /hour in Illinois  ( San Francisco minimum wage is $10.24) Walmart (along with 6 other corporations)  is now requiring workers to show up on Thanksgiving to get a jump on Black Friday sales.  Workers don’t like it much, of course, and some of them are planning to walk picket lines in protest.

Walmart, for its part, as anti-workers as a company can be, has filed with the NLRB, claiming there is illegal organizing going on and billion dollar corporations have their rights!

In a rare move, Wal-Mart is trying to stop a union-backed group from staging a series of demonstrations against the company on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.

Wal-Mart Stores, the nation’s largest employer and retailer, has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board — its first in a decade — seeking to prevent the group, known as OUR Walmart, from holding what the group says will be the biggest protests of this kind against the company at hundreds of store

… In this week’s planned events, OUR Walmart, which stands for Organization United for Respect at Walmart, is enlisting a broad range of allies, arranging fliers and letters that community, church and civil rights groups can use to publicize the Black Friday protest. OUR Walmart has even prepared remarks that it is suggesting members of the clergy might use in prayer, “to call upon the world’s largest corporation to treats its workers with justice and fairness. [Greenhouse at NY Times]

More news of Walmart and the push back here, here and here.

Be good folks on two counts: don’t join the Black Friday madness and if you ever go to Walmart print this out and wear it somewhere visible.


And, OUR Walmart folks, get with caps and Ts for your supporters!