Walmart supply chain workers hit NYC to expose forced labor cover-up
Workers expose forced labor in Louisiana, march on Walmart board members in NYC amid three federal probes
WHO: Mexican guestworkers who exposed forced labor on Walmart’s Louisiana supply chain; community and labor allies
WHAT: March on the New York offices and penthouses of Walmart board members, testimonies, delivery of over 120,000 petitions from Change.org demanding Walmart stop profiting from forced labor on its U.S. supply chain.
WHEN: June 19, 2012, 1-6pm ET (see below for details)
VISUALS: Workers and several dozen allies with poster-sized photographs of the workers’ families, 120,000+ petitions, demands that Walmart end forced labor
BACKGROUND: The workers went on strike from Walmart supplier C.J.’s Seafood on June 4, reporting to the federal Department of Labor (DOL) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that they had been subjected to forced labor, shifts of up to 24 hours with no overtime pay, constant surveillance, and threats of violence against themselves and their families in retaliation for seeking basic labor and civil rights.
Within days, Walmart attempted a cover-up, sending company representatives to meet with the supplier while refusing all contact with the whistleblowers. A Walmart representative attempted to mislead a reporter about the status and findings of three federal investigations. Probes by the DOL Wage and Hour division, OSHA, and EEOC are ongoing.
The workers—joined by labor and community allies from New York—will call on Walmart board members to:
- Cancel Walmart’s contract with C.J.’s Seafood to show that the company won’t profit from forced labor in Louisiana;
- Sit down with the striking workers immediately as the first step toward an investigation–rather than the cover up Walmart has attempted; and
- Sign the NGA’s Guestworker Dignity Standards to prevent forced labor and guarantee basic civil and labor rights across the Walmart supply chain.
June 19 1-4pm: Delegations to Cisco Systems (New York Customer Briefing Center, One Penn Plaza, 9th Floor, New York, NY; Goldman, Sachs & Co. (Investor Relations Dept, 200 West Street, 29th Floor, New York, NY); Elton John AIDS Foundation (584 Broadway, Suite 906, New York, NY)
6pm: Rally at home of Walmart board member Michelle Burns and delivery of 120,000+ Change.org petitions: 8 Spruce St., Apt. 50A, New York, NY
NOTE: Workers will also be available for individual interviews June 18-20.
CONTACT: Stephen Boykewich, c. 718-791-9162, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT NGA: The National Guestworker Alliance is a membership organization of guestworkers engaging in workplace fights across many industries to win dignified conditions, just migration policy, and new rights and protections for all workers.