Monday, June 10, 2013

Wal-Mart Employees to Confront Stockholders

From Raw Story

[Kalpona] Akter [a former child sweatshop worker] will call on Walmart to sign a legally binding agreement to improve working conditions in her country’s textile factories that many of the company’s rivals have signed following a building collapse in April that left over 1,127 dead.
Bangladesh’s textile workers work 11 to 14 hours a day, six, sometimes seven, days a week for $37 a month, says Akter. Conditions are dangerous. A total of 1,239 workers were killed in the recent building collapse outside Dhaka and a factory fire last year, and another 450 were reported ill this week, some hospitalized, after drinking unsafe water at another factory. “Whenever workers try to organise, they are threatened, beaten,” said Akter.
[Barbara] Collins has worked for Walmart in Placerville, California for almost eight years, and is a full-time associate. “I was told when I first got hired that I had joined a family. A family that would give me the chance to provide, a family that would respect me and value my work. Unfortunately I soon discovered that was not the case,” she said. “Despite my hard work I soon discovered that Walmart was a place that liked to say one thing and do another.” 
She said irregular hours left her unable to pay for healthcare for her family. One week she could work eight hours, the next 40. “Healthcare costs do not change, but my pay and hours do,” she said. She said the instability left her unable to keep up with her premiums. “We need public assistance to survive. Living in low-income housing, relying on food stamps, not being able to afford healthcare, is not my definition of providing a good job,” she said.

Just think of how much money would be saved by tax payers if corporation like Wal-Mart actually paid a livable wage.

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