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2001-09-04
Milwaukee, WI. Wal-Mart Sued by its Own Workers

"Our people make the difference," Wal-Mart likes to say. Apparently three former Wal-Mart workers want the difference in back pay from the company, and they 've gone to court to get it. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal of August 31st, a lawsuit has been filed against Wal-Mart Stores, contending employees were forced to work some hours without pay. The suit filed Thursday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court lists three former employees, Marla Kuhlmann, Valerie L. Smith and Teresea Khalil, all of Milwaukee. All three claim they were forced to work an unspecified number of hours without pay and were denied meal and rest periods, The workers allege Wal-Mart used threats to coerce the employees into working without pay. The Milwaukee attorney handling the case, James Murphy, said the suit, if approved by a judge as a class action, could represent up to 50,000 people who work for Wal-Mart Stores or did so during the last six years. Wal-Mart, which is battling similar suits in a dozen states, said it has strict policies for compensating employees. A spokesman for Wal-Mart told the Associated Press that the company's policy is to pay employees for all time worked and that there is no policy for compensatory time off or other compensation. Wal-Mart wants the court to move the lawsuit to its home state of Arkansas.

What you can do: Wal-Mart likes to boast about its good pay and good benefits. Workers these days are getting so uppity. They want breaks, they want time off for lunch or dinner. They want to be paid for the hours they work. What's next, decent health insurance? Wal-Mart's legal team seems to have its hands full fending off legal action by the company's own "associates". These workers say they were forced to work extra hours, and were threatened to do what the company wanted. "Our people make the difference," Wal-Mart says. Maybe the "difference" they want to make is between a decent place to work and a form of widespread exploitation.










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

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