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Community Task Force Wal-Mart and Human Rights Presented by: Melanie Murray, Anne Stojkovic, Stacey Krieg, Emily Todd, and Sarah Koontz.

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Presentation on theme: "Community Task Force Wal-Mart and Human Rights Presented by: Melanie Murray, Anne Stojkovic, Stacey Krieg, Emily Todd, and Sarah Koontz."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Task Force Wal-Mart and Human Rights Presented by: Melanie Murray, Anne Stojkovic, Stacey Krieg, Emily Todd, and Sarah Koontz

2 How it is… Wages in factories  United States – Make between $6.00 and $7.50 an hour  China – 16.5 ¢ an hour when legal minimum wage is 31 ¢ an hour  Nicaragua – 29 ¢ an hour  Honduras – 43 ¢ an hour  Bangladesh – Sewers get 20 ¢ an hour and helpers make 9 ¢ and hour when the legal minimum wage is 33 ¢  Mexico – workers in the factories make around 60 ¢ per hour, while minimum wage around $3 per hour.

3 How it is… Number of hours  United States - Full time 28 to 40 hours and part time is less than 28 hours  China – 12 to 16 hours a day/ 7 days a week and overtime is not paid  Nicaragua – 69 hours per week  Honduras – 12 to 14 hours a day, but can be forced to work 24 hours  Bangladesh – Work from 7:30 am to 8 pm daily. Work for holidays and sometimes 24 hours straight. Only get paid for 80 hours.  Mexico – 80 hours per week. 15 to 22 hour days, can be forced to work more.

4 How it is… Working Conditions  Bangladesh  No health benefits and even though factory sizes are so large that clinics are mandatory, none are present.  Maternity leave is not given; women receive no benefits for time off and may lose their jobs after having children.  To use the restroom, workers must have a ticket and breaks are timed.  Production demands are high and workers are berated if demands aren’t met.  Bangladesh regulations prevent unions and workers are fired for complaining while working.

5 How it is…  China  Factories have had health violations  They allow child labor  Emergency exits and medical boxes are normally locked  Long hours without movement on stools with no backs  Workers cannot go to the bathroom without permission  Frisked before they leave  Have to meet quotas and work up to 19 hours straight  Worker abuse and pregnancy tests.

6 How it is… Working conditions  United States  Managers told to intimidate workers who speak out (illegal surveillance)  Unions are not allowed and workers are investigated if they try to start them  Time cards are fixed if workers go over 40 hours a week (150 dollars cheated out of workers in Texas)  Workers are encouraged to depend on Medicaid instead of Wal-Mart's health insurance  Illegal aliens locked in all-night Wal-Mart shifts  No action for racial and gender discrimination

7 How it is…  Nicaragua  No access to health care  Bathrooms are locked  If workers try to defend their rights, they are fired and blacklisted.  Overtime is forced  Pregnancy tests

8 How it is… Working Conditions  Honduras  Cannot organize unions  Forced to ask permission to use the restroom  Mistreated by supervisors  Costa Rica  Pregnancy tests  Often locked in factory compound  Mandatory overtime  Water is not safe to drink  Need permission to go to the restroom  Not enough ventilation in the factories  Padlocked fire exits

9 How it is…  Mexico  Employees forced to work off the clock  120º working conditions  Unable to form unions because they will be shut down if a union is formed.  Violate child labor laws  Bathrooms are locked and can only be used once in the morning and once in the evening.  Workers are unable to take breaks while working their 15 to 20 hour days.

10 How it is… Things not talked about…  China  Chinese factory management trained workers to answer prepared questions and paid them a bonus for remembering them correctly during visits by Wal-Mart inspectors.  They have doctored time cards.  Workers fired and blacklisted if they try to defend their rights  No unannounced inspections of its contractors’ facilities are allowed.

11 How it is… Things not talked about…  Mexico  In 2004, Wal-Mart built a 71,902 square foot store near the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon in San Juan Teotichuacan which were made by the Aztecs.  Archeological digs from the site of the store actually reveal that there were ancient artifacts but Wal-Mart ordered its construction workers to hide any pieces they found.

12 Actions of Community Members BBBBlogs which make others aware of the poor conditions LLLLawsuits  I I I In September, workers from Swaziland, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Bangladesh, China and California sued Wal-Mart in the California Superior Court in Los Angeles. The workers in the countries outside of the U.S. “…were denied their basic minimum wage, forced to work overtime, and in certain cases denied the right to organize” ( wwww wwww wwww.... llll aaaa bbbb oooo rrrr rrrr iiii gggg hhhh tttt ssss.... oooo rrrr gggg). The workers from California are “…employees of California businesses which have been harmed by Wal-Mart’s unfair labor practices,” (

13  There have been many other lawsuits against Wal-Mart throughout the United States.  Protests  In November, three workers, from Swaziland, Columbia and Mexico, protested Wal-Mart in Michigan with 14 people from Michigan State University.

14 Our conclusions  Wal-Mart’s treatment of employees is incompatible with company rhetoric.  This corporate behavior is unacceptable

15 Wal-Mart’s responsibilities 1. Wal-Mart must enforce legal minimum wages for employees in foreign countries. 2. Wal-Mart must guarantee basic human rights to all of its employees, including healthcare, decent working conditions, and reasonable working hours.  Adequate medical facilities for factory employees need to be open and available at all times.  Working conditions such as temperature control, sufficient time for restroom and meal breaks, and access to emergency exits are essential.  Employees need to be treated with respect by their supervisors.

16 3. Wal-Mart has to attend to the needs of its employees in the United States.  Employees need to be allowed to exercise their Constitutional right of freedom of association through forming unions.  Through a union, employees can express their concerns, voice their opinions, and make changes in their workplace.

17 Our Proposal  Appeal to the top executives of Wal-Mart and to government officials, both within the United States and other countries.  To bring these issues to the attention of said officials, we plan to increase public awareness. 1. Advertising campaigns displaying Wal-Mart’s corporate failures  Documentary films  Billboards  Rallies  Informational pamphlets 2. Grassroots organizations  Once they are aware of the atrocities, the public will pressure their legislators and Wal-Mart executives to make the necessary changes.

18 Outcome  Intense advertising campaign will inspire the public to rise to the occasion and make its voice heard.  Result: Those in power will no longer be able to ignore these problems and will be forced to take immediate action.

19 Sources  Damashek, Amy. “Sweatshop Human Rights Abuses: The Top 10 List.” Peaceworks Monitor Archives. August 2000. 28 November 2005 .  Kernaghan, Charles. “Wal-Mart Whistleblower Speaks out: Working for Wal-Mart as a Monitor.” The National Labor Committee. June 2005. 28 November 2005..  Shultz, T.M. “Protesters target local Wal-Mart.” News and Press: Lansing State Journal 18 November 2005. 28 November 2005..  “Sweatshop Workers on Four Continents Sue Wal-Mart in California Court.” News and Press 13 September 2005. 28 November 2005.  “Wal-Mart: Every Day Low Wages.” InterReligious Task Force on Central America. 27 November 2005.  Wal-Mart: High Cost of Low Prices. Dir. Robert Greenwald. DVD. Brave New Films, 2005.

20 Sources Continued  weatshops_in_bangladesh_on_nbc_tonight weatshops_in_bangladesh_on_nbc_tonight weatshops_in_bangladesh_on_nbc_tonight     weat_shops.cfm weat_shops.cfm weat_shops.cfm         

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