Sep 07 2012
The world’s largest corporation is back in the news again adding to its long list of legal and labor violations. This past July a complaint was filed with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health or CAL/OSHA against Walmart by its warehouse workers who suffered from a series of workplace violations including underpayment of wages, unsafe moving quotas and no access to clean drinking water. A month after their complaint was filed Walmart released its second quarter profit report of over $4 billion dollars. Charles M Holley Jr., Walmart’s Chief Financial Officer bemoaned the company’s poor financial performance saying, “I don’t think the economy’s helping us. Customers are still very concerned about employment, gas prices and food inflation.”
Meanwhile, employees of Walmart affiliates, Warestaff and Select Staffing, are working in warehouses tolerating often unbearable heat conditions, sometimes as high as 115-degrees, as they lift and load heavy boxes filled with merchandise, ranging from toys to television sets, bound for Walmart stores across the nation, and its subsidiary Sam’s Club. Their access to drinking water is often limited to murky brown-colored water and sometimes no water at all. Walmart, which is seeking to expand its Southern California presence with new stores in Chinatown, Burbank, and more, denies responsibility for any violations instead laying the blame on the warehouse operator National Distribution Centers of Delaware.
Next week, Warehouse Workers United takes action with a march for basic job improvements, including clean water, from Riverside to Downtown Los Angeles. The 50-mile, 6-day pilgrimage, which follows the route Walmart trucks travel through the Los Angeles basin, is designed to help raise public awareness, while calling on Walmart to take responsibility for its warehouses and conditions.
GUESTS: Rose Aguilar, reporting for The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and host of Your Call, a daily call-in radio show on KALW in San Francisco. She’s also a former commentator on Uprising. Her article in Al Jazeera is entitled “Labour pains: Pushing for equity in the California workforce.” Ruben Valadez, a Walmart warehouse worker
Click here to read Rose Aguilar’s article.
Details about the September 13th 50 Mile march by Walmart’s Warehouse workers:
WHAT: Press Conference to Launch Warehouse Worker Pilgrimage
WHEN: 10 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 13
WHERE: 4100 Hamner Avenue, Riverside, California 91752
WHO: Warehouse Workers
Assembly member Norma Torres
Members of the clergy
Warehouse workers and their supporters will hold a short press conference in front of a warehouse and then commence marching up Milliken Ave. with signs and a backdrop of some of the world’s largest warehouses.
Warehouse workers will embark on their 50-mile march Sept. 13. They will sleep on church floors and rely on community organizations for support and meals. Marchers will be joined daily by supporters and elected officials. Workers will hold daily media events and will be available for interviews in English and Spanish throughout the entire march.
Follow the march on social media using the hashtag #WalMarch.
More information at www.warehouseworkersunited.org