Thursday Jun 07, 201205:30 AM GMT
Large retailers having negative effect on US economy
Thu Jun 7, 2012 5:29AM
Ross Michael Frasier, Press TV, Los Angeles
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A new report shows that large retailers like Wal-Mart are having a negative effect on the American economy. They're driving down wages and lowering workplace safety standards.

Latino labor leaders in Los Angeles say workers at major retailers like Wal-Mart are facing hazardous working conditions and are getting paid very little in return.

They say a new report released by the National Employment Law Project shows how much damage Wal-Mart is causing communities. The report, titled Chain of Greed, blames the world’s largest retailer for using its influence to hurt workers across the country.

The report says Wal-Mart is now outsourcing most of its supply chain to third-party contractors. These contractors rely on temporary warehouse workers who are mostly Latino to unpack and reload items onto trucks.

Wal-Mart officials say that most of the centers in the country are owned and operated by the company and not run by third-party contractors. But labor leaders say Wal-Mart encourages domestic outsourcing because it reduces costs.

Wal-Mart officials say they expect distribution centers to comply with all labor laws. Labor officials say they want to see the company step up and make sure the laws are being enforced.

The report calls for Wal-Mart to adopt a more responsible contractor policy that would end abusive conditions. It also calls for better enforcement of existing laws and expanding them to include warehouse workers.

Labor officials say they will use the findings in the report to build momentum for a march on June 30th. Officials say thousands of workers will take to the streets to protest companies like Wal-Mart and to demand improvements to their working conditions.
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