Wal-Mart supplier factories in China accused of poor working conditions
Wal-Mart supplier factories in China feature abusive conditions in violation of the retailer’s own “basic” standards, a labour report showed on Wednesday. Workers making shoes, Christmas lights, tools, curtains and paper boxes sold at Wal-Mart stores endure "illegal and degrading conditions," New York-based China Labor Watch said, based on its probe.
The group's investigation of five Wal-Mart supplier factories reveals that "not a single factory has implemented Wal-Mart's basic standards, and a total of 10,000 workers included in the report suffer serious rights abuses," the group said in a statement.
In the report, CLW attributed the alleged failure to "ineffective auditing and a pricing structure that forces factories to sell goods at unsustainable prices. As Wal-Mart gears up for year-end holiday sales, the report said two of the five factories "illegally underpay overtime wages at rates as low as 44 cents per hour." Two factories withheld wages from workers who fail to meet production quotas, it said. "Workers' low wages are further undermined by excessive fines and unpaid days off or maternity leave, and some workers cannot even purchase social security," the report charged.
Worker abuse extends beyond paychecks, CLW claimed, saying workers at two factories were denied gloves on the grounds that it would slow production, and dormitory conditions were so poor that at one factory, "there was no running water in the bathrooms."
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