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1999-11-30
Seattle, WA. Wal-Mart Globalizes Poverty

Hundreds of union workers are in Seattle, WA this week to protest Wal-Mart's extensive economic ties with countries with abysmal labor and human rights standards. According to the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents 1.4 million retail workers in the U.S., Wal-Mart is one of the largest outlets for imported goods from China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and other oppressive countries. The UFCW calls Wal-Mart "one of the world's largest traders in human misery". The union says that Wal-Mart is benefitting financially from the World Trade Organization's lack of protections against child labor, forced labor, and employment discrimination. The UFCW is seeking reforms in the WTO trade and investment rules to protect worker's rights. The UFCW says that Wal-Mart has undercut union jobs in the U.S. by terminating contracts with American manufacturers and replacing U.S. products with imports. The union cites Master Lock and Brown Shoe Company as examples of how Wal-Mart cost American workers their jobs by switching to foreign products. "The trade practices permitted by the WTO have led to the resurgence of child labor, forced labor and the systematic degradation of human work as key components of the new world economic order," says the UFCW. "As the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart is distribution central for WTO's new economic order."

What you can do: It's actually very easy to express your opposition to Wal-Mart's labor practices in the US and abroad: spend your dollars at local retailers. For further information about the UFCW campaign at the WTO, send email to: press@ufcw.org.










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

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