Despite threats to their families, guestworkers in Louisiana went on strike in June 2012 to expose forced labor on the Walmart supply chain. In Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, Walmart supplier C.J.’s Seafood has subjected 40 Mexican guestworkers on H-2B visas to forced labor, stolen wages, unfair labor practices and discrimination—from which Walmart has profited.
Below are copies of official complaints filed on June 6, 2012, on behalf of the workers with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Three federal investigations were opened, by DOL Wage & Hour, OSHA, and the EEOC.
In July 2012, the DOL cited C.J.’s Seafood for multiple serious violations of federal safety and health rules, and fined the company $21,550 (PDF).
In this June 14 Daily Beast story, a Walmart spokesperson tried to make the reporter believe the federal investigations were over, but failed:
Joshua Lamont, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Labor, said his agency is still investigating. ‘We can’t comment on an ongoing investigation,’ he said, ‘except to say there is an ongoing investigation.’
More on Breaking Chains at Walmart
- 2-page campaign backgrounder (PDF)
- Change.org petition to Walmart: Stop profiting from forced labor in Louisiana!
- Press coverage
- DOL and EEOC complaints as filed June 6, 2012
- DOL OSHA citations and penalties against C.J.’s, July 2012 (PDF)