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2004-09-11
Williamsport, PA. Wal-Mart May Seek To Settle Illegal Cleaning Workers Case

It was reported this week that Wal-Mart is trying to put behind it one of its more embarassing legal problems -- the use of illegal workers to clean its stores. The retailer has been talking to the U.S. Attorney's office in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The investigation seeks to determine if Wal-Mart knowingly hired contractors who used illegal workers to clean up Wal-Mart. This revelation of a possible settlement did not come from a Wal-Mart press release, but from its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Wal-Mart has been the target of a federal grand jury probe into possible violation of immigration-law stemming from the arrest last October of more than 250 janitorial workers at about 61 Wal-Mart stores. A company that knowingly hires illegal workers faces fines of as much as $10,000 for each worker. Wal-Mart has said it contracts for janitorial services at more than 700 of its roughly 3,400 US stores. The cleaning workers were arrested by the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It came after an audit of Social Security numbers submitted by the workers to determine whether the numbers were used for more than one person.

What you can do: The media has focused on this cleaning workers case, but Sprawl-Busters has written about the use of illegal workers to actually build Wal-Mart stores. A case in Lake Charles, Louisiana revealed that illegal labor had been used to build a supercenter in that community. Similar labor charges were also raised in Illinois. For related stories, search this database by "illegal."










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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