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U.S. | Labor & Workers

Labour groups
by Ted Rudow III, MA
Friday May 9th, 2014 3:24 PM
Wal-Mart is one of only a few major retailers that have refused to sign on to the new safety standards after the Dhaka tragedy. In the fire, in Tazreen Fashion fire, it has killed 112 workers and left hundreds injured. And in Rana Plaza, it killed 1,127 and left more than 600 or 700 injured for lifetime. And in that shareholder meeting, they haven’t even given any condolence for those families. They haven’t felt sad. No word for those.
One worker said,"We didn’t want to go up in the factory this morning, but the management forced us to go up and said there was no problem with the building. Just after that, I sat on my table to work, and the building just collapsed. I couldn’t even leave. I was trapped at my table. Inside at about 9:10 a.m., the building collapsed, and we were trapped inside since then and up to now. It is 10:18 p.m. Eleven hours, we were trapped. We did not want to enter the building, but the owners pushed us to get in and work."

Despite a spotty record on labor issues, Obama's visit to Walmart was the first ever by a sitting president to a Walmart store -- to the world's largest retailer raised the ire of some labor advocates, who have long criticized the retailer for low wages and importing good from China rather than buying from U.S. manufacturers. Labor groups also protested alongside environmentalists demanding a halt to the Keystone XL pipeline the street outside the Fairmont Hotel on Thursday. Yet the same cost-savings motivations that have led Walmart has cut corners on labor!

Ted Rudow III, MA