Severe Human Rights Violations at Food Processing Facilities Result in Global Labor Issues for Walmart

Sign the petition and tell Walmart to address abuses in the supply chain!

Last week thousands of workers at two different Thai food processing facilities protested their extremely poor working conditions. Both facilities, Phattahana Seafood and Vita Food Factory, are suppliers to Walmart stores across the US. Disturbing reports coming out of the region indicate that the questionable treatment of workers extends well-beyond the US border and signals deeper global issues.

Early reports indicate a series of severe human and worker rights violations, including confiscation of passports and conditions that appear to fit the definition of human trafficking and debt bondage.

In response to these egregious violations, Making Change at Walmart sent a letter to Walmart’s Ethical Sourcing director calling for the immediate defense of migrant workers in the food processing facilities. The letter detailed violations being committed by two separate plants, including one fruit (primarily pineapple) processor and one seafood (primarily shrimp) producer. Phattahan Seafood Factory may be holding as many as 2,000 confiscated passports belonging to migrant workers from Myanmar and Cambodia. A number of the workers have started to illegally flee the plant to return to their country despite lack of documentation.

Excerpt from the letter:

As the largest grocer in the world and the largest importer of shrimp in the United States, Walmart has a responsibility to call for an end to this treatment of workers and do more to ensure that this treatment is not occurring in other supplier factories.

Since the release of Walmart’s Global Responsibility Report on Monday, environmental groups have raised questions about a number of items that may have been overlooked in the report. To be sure, these latest accusations fly in the face of claims of responsible and sustainable sourcing.

  • Anonymous

    it is time to Change Walmart into the United Food and Commercial Workers Unionize Walmart Store for all Walmart Cashier Workers and for all Walmart Produce Workers and for all Walmart Deli Department Workers and for all Walmart Bakery Department Workers. it is time for Walmart Change into Teamster Unionize Walmart Store for all Walmart Truck Drivers Workers and for all Walmart Hardware Department Workers and for all Walmart Gardening Department Workers and for all Walmart Stock Person Workers and for all Walmart Maintenance Association Workers and for all Walmart Customer Service Desk Workers and for all Walmart Courtesy Association Workers and for all Sam’s Club Truck Drivers Workers and for all Sam’s Club Forklift Drivers@Stock Person Workers and for all Sam’s Club Maintenance Workers and for all Sam’s Club Cashier Workers and for all Sam’s Club Meat cutter@Meat Wrapper Workers and for all Sam’s Club Produce Workers and for all Sam’s Club Cafe Workers and for all Sam’s Club Bakery Department Workers and for all Sam’s Club Membership Desk Workers and for all Sam’s Club Cart Attendant Workers. it is time for Walmart Change into Communication Workers of America Unionize Walmart Store for all Walmart Electronics Workers and for all Sam’s Club Electronics Workers. it is time for Walmart Change into United Healthcare Workers Unionize Walmart Store for all Walmart Pharmacy Workers and for all Sam’s Club Pharmacy Workers. it is time for Walmart Change into United Auto Worker Unionize Walmart Store for all Walmart Tire@Lube Express Workers and for all Sam’s Club Tire@Vehicle Battery Installment Workers right of away and right now please by make Walmart give all Walmart Workers and Sam’s Club Workers a Living Wage With Affordable Healthcare right of away and right now please without close down all the Walmart Store and without close down all the Sam’s Wholesale Club.

    Thank You Very Much United Food And Commercial Workers Union And Teamster Union And OUR Walmart And Making Change At Walmart And Walmart Watch And Employee Free Choice Act For Trying Make Walmart A Better Place To Work For All Walmart Workers And For All Sam’s Club Workers From Tom P Noonan

    • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

      People everywhere need to stop falling for the disinformation distributed by the wealthy elite that unions are evil. Yes, some have been corrupted and need to be cleaned up – but the bottom line is that the only way to protect the rights of workers is to have international union contracts that prevent them from simply moving the plants around to avoid being held responsible. 

      An even better solution is to create LOCAL small businesses that pay a living wage and treat people like equals instead of believing it is necessary to work for unethical multi-national corporations who don’t.  BUY LOCAL, SOURCE LOCAL, support small online businesses and take EVERY PENNY YOU CAN away from evil corporations that believe we are no better than ants to be squashed underfoot. 

    • Anonymous

       Wal-Mart does not own either of the factories in Thailand. They just buy their products as do many other US corporations. Having grown up very close to the Florida shrimp industry, I only buy US wild shrimp. It is very expensive and I see why the millions of Wal-Mart customers would rather have the cheaper farm raised ones from overseas. It is up to the consumer to decide. In America, we have a choice. Consumers can buy what kind of shrimp they wish. They are marked as to country of origin. If the union desired to remove the choices, then millions of consumers who can’t afford the wild domestic shrimp (20% of the US market), will do without any shrimp at all. Is this what the unions wish?

    • Boricuamom

      Unions have nothing to do with this issue, UFCW’s involvement is worthless at best.

  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    Walmart is intentionally and willfully endangering lives – and anyone who continues to shop there knowing full well – but refusing to believe or notice their inhumane business practices – is ENABLING lives to be destroyed or even lost. 

    It is about time people start taking responsibility for the results of their selfish choices instead of pretending they don’t know about the havoc their decisions creates in others’ lives or not caring about their fellow humans. 

    • Anonymous

       The world’s population can not be supported with the sustainable agriculture you advocate. If everyone did what you recommend, billions of people would starve death. The green revolution in agriculture is a necessary with 7 billion people in the world. Not everybody can live in a commune as you seem to wish. Your way (which is impossible and won’t ever happen) would lead to great suffering and human misery. You should be ashamed for for advocating such a thing. Do you not care for the suffering masses? The fact that Wal-Mart has become the largest grocery in the world and has over 2 million employees, indicates that your position is on the fringe.

      • Jesusdyed4m

        Walmart is the largest Grocery In the World because they do not Care Who they hurt. I do not work for them, and I damn sure dont shop there. They are fined and sued every time you turn around for enviromental issues, child labor laws, promote welfare instead of offering affordable health insurance which WALMART CAN AFFORD… and the list goes on and on…. like the person above says, when WALMART says LOWPRICES The People who suffer are their employees…

  • Kevin

     When all you do is think of
    “me” and “low prices”, then somebody in the supply chain is usually
    being hurt, abused and/or exploited… and I can guarantee you that it
    is not the corporate executives.