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Workplace Issues Today: Wal-Mart faces proposal to monitor working conditions

At Wal-Mart’s annual shareholder meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Friday, the New York City pension funds, a shareholder, will present a proposal asking the company to require suppliers to publish reports detailing the working conditions in their factories. The group said that they hope the proposal will help improve workplace health and safety, as well as worker rights at Wal-Mart suppliers. The proposal will be submitted by a Bangladeshi worker who works for a Wal-Mart supplier. She says that management coaches workers to lie to factory auditors, and that the working conditions are not good. Wal-Mart says that monitoring its supply chain is not a feasible option. However, the company was able to reduce the amount of packaging used on its products by giving instructions to suppliers.

See “Wal-Mart Is Being Pressed to Disclose How Global Suppliers Treat Workers,” by Stephanie Clifford, The New York Times, May 31 2011 (SD)

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