Wal-Mart opened its annual meetings to reporters for the first time yesterday, announcing a variety of measures aimed at repairing its image among American consumers. At the center of the reforms are Wal-Mart's health care plan — which is now used by more than half of its retail employees— and a suddenly vigorous devotion to environmental responsibility. CEO H. Lee Scott promised that Wal-Mart will continue to expand its sales of environmentally responsible products and work with its suppliers to strengthen their environmental standards.
January 24, 2008
After the CIW recently reached historic agreements with Yum! Brands and McDonald's — which would have effectively doubled the wages of the tomato pickers in Florida who supply America's largest fast food chains — it appeared that their campaign to improve the lives of migrant workers was picking up momentum. Then they set their sights on Burger King.
January 18, 2008
Probably the most overlooked aspects of 2007's string of toxic toy scandals are the host of environmental and health dangers associated with manufacturing poisonous products. The Chinese workers who spray lead paint on toys destined for American shelves — often without masks or gloves — don't have to put the toys in their mouths to experience the effects of lead poisoning. When they go home at night they bring with them paint dust which in turn pollutes their living spaces, putting their families at risk.
January 15, 2008
The National Labor Committee dropped a 60-page bombshell on Target and Wal-Mart yesterday, uncovering labor abuses at a factory in China's Guangzhou province that produces Christmas ornaments for the retailers. The NLC's report details numerous violations including the employment of children as young as 12, working 10, 12 and 15-hour days, seven days a week, for less than China's minimum wage.
December 13, 2007
For many, the phrase "made in Italy" is enough to instantly alleviate any concerns that a garment they are purchasing was put together in a sweatshop. After all, Italian made designer clothing has always commanded top dollar, and there's no reason for a company that sells $800 handbags to cheat its workers out of a living wage is there? If you still operate under this impression, the UK's Daily Mirror has news for you.
December 6, 2007