Walmart Petition: 130,000 Call On Company To Cease Business With CJ Seafood
Huffington Post – Khadeeja Safdar
June 21, 2012
Walmart is facing criticism for allegedly profiting from unfair labor practices.
More than 130,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org calling on Walmart to stop doing business with a seafood supplier accused of labor law violations.
Supervisors at CJ Seafood, which relies on Walmart for 85 percent of its business,allegedly forced Mexican guest workers into labor for up to 24 hours at a timewithout paying overtime. They locked them in a plant in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana and threatened them with beatings, according to Ana Rosa Diaz, the guest worker who created the online petition.
Walmart suppliers are not allowed to force labor or require excessive working hours,according to Walmart’s written standards.
But this isn’t the first time the retailer has done business with a company accused of breaking those rules. Last year, warehouse workers in California sued Walmart contractor Schneider Logistics for allegedly shortchanging pay, providing poor labor conditions and threatening to fire workers for filing complaints.
Walmart has also been involved in a number of lawsuits for discrimination against female employees; allegations have included derogatory language at the workplace, unfair promotion practices and pay discrimination. Mostly recently, nearly 2,000 women in 48 states filed charges against Walmart to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accusing the company of sex discrimination.
Walmart’s controversial labor practices have also garnered international attention. Earlier this year, the Netherlands’ biggest pension fund divested from Walmart for not complying with the United Nations’ Global Compact principles, which have to do with human rights and labor practices as well as environmental protection and anti-corruption efforts.
In her petition on Change.org, Diaz calls on Walmart to investigate CJ Seafood, rather than engaging in a cover-up, a reference to a New York Times report from April alleging Walmart executives concealed a large-scale bribery campaign involving its Mexican subsidiary.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post misspelled the name of the guest worker who started the online petition. The correct spelling of her name is Ana Rosa Diaz.