By Bill Fletcher, chair of the Retail Justice Alliance
It’s been a busy week for Walmart. The retail giant threatened to pull out of three planned stores in Washington, D.C. after the city council voted on a bill requiring major retailers to pay employees a ‘living wage’ of at least $12.50 an hour. And after refusing to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, which would make real improvements in the safety of garment workers in Bangladesh, Walmart, Gap and other retailers announced that they had established a “Global Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety,” a bogus plan with no enforceable commitments to workplace safety.
Walmart has also continued to fire or retaliate against workers who were simply exercising their right to speak out for a better life and improved working conditions. These workers are members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), who traveled to Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., in June to protest the company’s practice of retaliating against workers who speak out for change.
It’s time for Walmart to put people before profits and be a good employer here at home and abroad. For more information about the brave workers who are fighting for better wages, benefits and safer working conditions here at in the U.S. and for their brothers and sisters in Bangladesh, visit http://makingchangeatwalmart.org/.