Wal-Mart Response to the Class Action Suit Filed by Workers from 5 Countries and UFCW Grocery Workers in California

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Sept. 15, 2005 ---   A lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, September 13, 2005, in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of workers in five countries concerning wages, working hours and working conditions in supplier factories producing garments and toys, and by United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) grocery workers in the State of California. 

“Just as the Labor Department recently rejected this group’s report on labor conditions in Central America as having ‘serious flaws,’ we expect to find serious flaws in this lawsuit.”

“It is also evident, based on their ties to the UFCW, that this is another example of the UFCW’s effort to pressure Wal-Mart.” 

“Wal-Mart expects every supplier to comply with worker protections and regularly audits suppliers’ factories at a rate of 30 per day.  We are a global leader in monitoring supplier factory conditions and if we find that any of our suppliers’ factories are unwilling to correct problems, we end our relationship with them. We conduct audits to make sure our suppliers are upholding the commitments they make in their supplier agreements with us.
Each year we train thousands of suppliers and their factory managers in how to ensure compliance with worker protections.” 

  • Wal-Mart’s Standards for Suppliers are continually updated to reflect the best practices of the ethical sourcing community. 
  • We aggressively address problems and work proactively with suppliers’ factories to improve conditions.  We believe sustainable results will come if we are able to convince suppliers and factories that compliance is an investment, not a cost.
  • Wal-Mart’s Standards for Suppliers cover health and safety issues, compensation, working hours, discrimination and other key protections.
  • In 2004, some 12,500 audits, an average of 30 each day, were conducted at supplier factories producing a wide assortment of goods for Wal-Mart. 
  • These factories are audited at least once a year and up to four times annually.  If a violation is observed, Wal-Mart works constructively with suppliers so their factories correct the problems.  We discontinue business with them if they fail to change their practices.
  • Last year, we trained more than 7,900 suppliers and their factory managers to increase their familiarity with the requirements of Wal-Mart Standards for Suppliers and to encourage best practices.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT.  More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmartfacts.com.  Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com

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