24 hours at a time with no overtime pay

According to a recent front-page article in Bloomberg Magazine, Wal-Mart hired a defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, to use military-grade cybersecurity techniques to monitor the social media accounts of labor organizers and Wal-Mart employees. Worse, on at least one occasion, the company’s global security team “began working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces” to counter worker protests.1
Giant corporations shouldn’t be able to enlist the FBI’s help to crack down on workers simply asking for dignity and respect. So we are joining our friends at OUR Walmart to demand that the Department of Justice investigate the FBI’s relationship with Wal-Mart and whether the agency or company broke any laws.
Wal-Mart jobs pay so little that some workers go hungry. Most face irregular hours that make it impossible to raise parents or plan ahead, and have few benefits or health care coverage. All Wal-Mart employees are asking for is higher pay, safe working conditions, dependable schedules, and respect in the workplace.2 This is not terrorism, and there is no way the FBI should be involved.
The Bloomberg report reveals an intentional and long-running effort on the part of Wal-Mart executives to monitor current and former employees who are involved with OUR Walmart. Wal-Mart organized a “Delta team” of executives tasked with cracking down, staffed up its labor hotline, and hired Lockheed Martin, one of the biggest defense contractors in the world.3 Many of the employees monitored were later fired, potentially violating the law.4
In 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against Wal-Mart, claiming that the company violated labor law in 14 states by engaging in retaliation against workers who organized for better pay and better lives.5 The NLRB investigation turned up thousands of documents, some of which detail Wal-Mart’s hiring of Lockheed Martin – and its unacceptable coordination with the FBI.6
OUR Walmart has submitted a letter to the Department of Justice demanding an investigation, and we need to show that hundreds of thousands of Americans stand with them.7
We do not know how often the FBI and Wal-Mart have teamed up. The documents unearthed by the NLRB also do not reveal the extent of FBI involvement in monitoring protesters who traveled by bus across the country to the retail behemoth’s Arkansas headquarters. It is also possible that Wal-Mart used information turned over by the FBI to illegally retaliate against employees.8
OUR Walmart and Wal-Mart workers have been at the forefront of the «Fight for $15» and their courageous stand has yielded results providing momentum for higher wages across the country. If the FBI’s anti-terrorism team is partnering with Wal-Mart, it may be working with other companies as well. We need to make sure the Justice Department doesn’t turn a blind eye any outrageous and dangerous abuse of authority targeting Wal-Mart workers.
Tell the Justice Department: Investigate reported FBI spying on Wal-Mart employees. Click below to sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out,
Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Susan Berfield, “How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce,” Bloomberg, November 24, 2015.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. OUR Walmart, «Letters to the Department of Justice,» United4Respect.org, January 14, 2016.
  5. Amanda Becker, “U.S. labor board alleges Wal-Mart violated labor law in 14 states,” Reuters, January 15, 2014.
  6. Berfield, “How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce.”
  7. OUR Walmart, «Letters to the Department of Justice,» United4Respect.org, January 14, 2016.
  8. Berfield, “How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce.”

Started by: Ana Rosa Diaz, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.
My name is Ana Rosa Diaz. I’m 40 years old and I have four children. I came to the United States on an H-2B guestworker visa from my home in Tamaulipas, Mexico. I work in a small town in Louisiana with other guestworkers, peeling crawfish for a company called C.J.’s Seafood, which sells 85% of its products to Walmart.
Our boss forces us to work up to 24 hours at a time with no overtime pay. No matter how fast we work, they scream and curse at us to make us work faster. Our supervisor threatens to beat us with a shovel to stop us from taking breaks.
We live in trailers across from the boss’s house, and we’re under surveillance all the time. The supervisors come into our trailers without warning, and they threaten to fire us if we leave after 9 p.m.
The supervisor also locked us in the plant so we couldn’t take breaks. One worker called 911. After that the boss rounded us up at 2:30 a.m., closed the door to keep the American employees out, and threatened our families.
He said, “As a friend I can be very good, but you don’t want to know me as an enemy. I have contacts with good people and bad people, and I know where all your families live. I can find you no matter where you hide.” We were terrified. 
We want to work. We need to support our families. But we also want to be treated like human beings.
We joined the National Guestworker Alliance and decided to go on strike. The boss refused to take back his threats against our families, so now we’re taking our demands to Walmart.
Walmart says it doesn’t allow forced labor by any of its suppliers. But Walmart is profiting from the forced labor we lived through right here in Louisiana. And now they’re trying to cover up what happened to us — while refusing even to speak with us.
Walmart needs to meet with us immediately, and to show its suppliers that it won’t tolerate forced labor. We’re demanding that Walmart:
1. Cancel its contract with C.J.’s Seafood to show that it won’t profit from forced labor in Louisiana.
2. Sit down with us, the striking workers, immediately as a first step toward a real investigation — rather than a cover-up.
3. Sign the NGA’s Guestworker Dignity Standards to prevent forced labor and guarantee civil and labor rights for guestworkers across the Walmart supply chain. 
Please sign and stand with us!
According to a recent front-page article in Bloomberg Magazine, Wal-Mart hired a defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, to use military-grade cybersecurity techniques to monitor the social media accounts of labor organizers and Wal-Mart employees. Worse, on at least one occasion, the company’s global security team “began working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces” to counter worker protests.1
Giant corporations shouldn’t be able to enlist the FBI’s help to crack down on workers simply asking for dignity and respect. So we are joining our friends at OUR Walmart to demand that the Department of Justice investigate the FBI’s relationship with Wal-Mart and whether the agency or company broke any laws.
Wal-Mart jobs pay so little that some workers go hungry. Most face irregular hours that make it impossible to raise parents or plan ahead, and have few benefits or health care coverage. All Wal-Mart employees are asking for is higher pay, safe working conditions, dependable schedules, and respect in the workplace.2 This is not terrorism, and there is no way the FBI should be involved.
The Bloomberg report reveals an intentional and long-running effort on the part of Wal-Mart executives to monitor current and former employees who are involved with OUR Walmart. Wal-Mart organized a “Delta team” of executives tasked with cracking down, staffed up its labor hotline, and hired Lockheed Martin, one of the biggest defense contractors in the world.3 Many of the employees monitored were later fired, potentially violating the law.4
In 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against Wal-Mart, claiming that the company violated labor law in 14 states by engaging in retaliation against workers who organized for better pay and better lives.5 The NLRB investigation turned up thousands of documents, some of which detail Wal-Mart’s hiring of Lockheed Martin – and its unacceptable coordination with the FBI.6
OUR Walmart has submitted a letter to the Department of Justice demanding an investigation, and we need to show that hundreds of thousands of Americans stand with them.7
We do not know how often the FBI and Wal-Mart have teamed up. The documents unearthed by the NLRB also do not reveal the extent of FBI involvement in monitoring protesters who traveled by bus across the country to the retail behemoth’s Arkansas headquarters. It is also possible that Wal-Mart used information turned over by the FBI to illegally retaliate against employees.8
OUR Walmart and Wal-Mart workers have been at the forefront of the "Fight for $15" and their courageous stand has yielded results providing momentum for higher wages across the country. If the FBI’s anti-terrorism team is partnering with Wal-Mart, it may be working with other companies as well. We need to make sure the Justice Department doesn’t turn a blind eye any outrageous and dangerous abuse of authority targeting Wal-Mart workers.
Tell the Justice Department: Investigate reported FBI spying on Wal-Mart employees. Click below to sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out,
Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ?
  1. Susan Berfield, “How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce,” Bloomberg, November 24, 2015.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. OUR Walmart, "Letters to the Department of Justice," United4Respect.org, January 14, 2016.
  5. Amanda Becker, “U.S. labor board alleges Wal-Mart violated labor law in 14 states,” Reuters, January 15, 2014.
  6. Berfield, “How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce.”
  7. OUR Walmart, "Letters to the Department of Justice," United4Respect.org, January 14, 2016.
  8. Berfield, “How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce.”



Started by: Ana Rosa Diaz, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.
My name is Ana Rosa Diaz. I'm 40 years old and I have four children. I came to the United States on an H-2B guestworker visa from my home in Tamaulipas, Mexico. I work in a small town in Louisiana with other guestworkers, peeling crawfish for a company called C.J.’s Seafood, which sells 85% of its products to Walmart.
Our boss forces us to work up to 24 hours at a time with no overtime pay. No matter how fast we work, they scream and curse at us to make us work faster. Our supervisor threatens to beat us with a shovel to stop us from taking breaks.
We live in trailers across from the boss's house, and we’re under surveillance all the time. The supervisors come into our trailers without warning, and they threaten to fire us if we leave after 9 p.m.
The supervisor also locked us in the plant so we couldn’t take breaks. One worker called 911. After that the boss rounded us up at 2:30 a.m., closed the door to keep the American employees out, and threatened our families.
He said, “As a friend I can be very good, but you don’t want to know me as an enemy. I have contacts with good people and bad people, and I know where all your families live. I can find you no matter where you hide.” We were terrified. 
We want to work. We need to support our families. But we also want to be treated like human beings.
We joined the National Guestworker Alliance and decided to go on strike. The boss refused to take back his threats against our families, so now we’re taking our demands to Walmart.
Walmart says it doesn't allow forced labor by any of its suppliers. But Walmart is profiting from the forced labor we lived through right here in Louisiana. And now they're trying to cover up what happened to us -- while refusing even to speak with us.
Walmart needs to meet with us immediately, and to show its suppliers that it won't tolerate forced labor. We’re demanding that Walmart:
1. Cancel its contract with C.J.’s Seafood to show that it won't profit from forced labor in Louisiana.
2. Sit down with us, the striking workers, immediately as a first step toward a real investigation -- rather than a cover-up.
3. Sign the NGA's Guestworker Dignity Standards to prevent forced labor and guarantee civil and labor rights for guestworkers across the Walmart supply chain. 
Please sign and stand with us!

Monsanto’s GMO sweet corn

Published on Aug 1, 2013
14 year old Rachel Parent debates Kevin O’Leary on the issue of Genetically Modified Food
Donate to the cause at Rachel’s website: http://www.gmo-news.com
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network: www.cban.ca
petition for mandatory GMO food labelling: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Brin…
O’Leary knocks himself out: http://youtu.be/OFS035Kdo-s
Rachel’s challenge to O’Leary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XcXK…
original broadcast on CBC: If you want to see CBC’s «The Lang O’Leary Exchange» with the commercials: http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV+Show…


Take Action!
Clicking here will automatically add your name to this to Walmart CEO Mike Duke:
«Walmart: Live up to your commitment to consumer safety, and reject Monsanto’s untested and potentially toxic genetically-modified sweet corn before it’s planted this spring.»

Automatically add your name:

Take action now!

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

Dear Friend,
This spring, Monsanto’s GMO sweet corn — their first product for direct human consumption — will be getting planted for the first time.
Then it will be sold, unlabeled, in a grocery store near you.
What would it take to stop it? It would take the largest food retailer in the country rejecting Monsanto’s untested, potentially toxic corn.
In response to pressure from more than 250,000 CREDO Activists and others last fall, Trader Joes, Whole Foods and General Mills all committed not to sell Monsanto’s sweet corn.1
But not Walmart.
Walmart, wrote to us that «nothing is more important than the safety and satisfaction of our customers.» But that’s just not consistent with selling this unlabeled GMO sweet corn, which contains three genetic modifications — including the insecticide Bt — and hasn’t been tested to prove it is safe for humans to eat.2
Walmart could make a powerful statement for consumer safety by rejecting Monsanto’s GMO sweet corn, but they won’t do it unless we put very public pressure on the company.
This corn is Monsanto’s first foray into designing GMO foods that could wind up whole on your plate. If it’s successful, we can be sure that it will just be the beginning for Monsanto, who already produces roughly 90% of GMO seeds around the globe.
As the largest food retailer, and even the largest seller of organic foods, Walmart can set an important precedent that could keep Monsanto’s GMO sweet corn, and any future GMO foods, from taking root.
If Walmart really means that nothing is more important than their customers safety then they need to take a stand now.
Click below to automatically sign the petition:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=5535403&id=35505-5154581-RZHw_fx&t=10
Thanks for fighting for safe and healthy food.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets


Thanks for taking action.

Here are some ways you can spread the word to make sure Walmart takes a stand against Monsanto’s sweet corn.

If you are on Facebook, click here to post the petition to your Wall.

If you have a Twitter account, click here to automatically tweet:
Tell @Walmart: Stand up for consumer safety and reject Monsanto’s untested, unlabeled GMO sweet corn: http://bit.ly/yVOW5j @CREDOMobile #gmo

You can also send the following e-mail to your friends and family. Spreading the word is critical, but please only pass this message along to those who know you — spam hurts our campaign.

Thanks for all you do.

–The CREDO Action Team

Here’s a sample message to send to your friends:

Subject: Tell Walmart: Don’t sell Monsanto’s potentially toxic GMO sweet corn
Dear Friend,

This spring, Monsanto’s GMO sweet corn — their first product for direct human consumption — will be getting planted for the first time.

Then it will be sold, unlabeled, in a grocery store near you.

To stop it, we’ll need significant opposition from food sellers to this untested, potentially toxic product. Walmart is the largest food retailer in the country, but they have no plans to reject Monsanto’s GMO sweet corn.

I just signed a petition urging Walmart to take a stand for consumer safety, and reject Monsanto’s GMO sweet corn before it’s planted. You can add your name here:

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/walmart_no_gmo/?r_by=35505-5154581-RZHw_fx&rc=confemail



Published on Aug 1, 2013
14 year old Rachel Parent debates Kevin O'Leary on the issue of Genetically Modified Food
Donate to the cause at Rachel's website: http://www.gmo-news.com
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network: www.cban.ca
petition for mandatory GMO food labelling: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Brin...
O'Leary knocks himself out: http://youtu.be/OFS035Kdo-s
Rachel's challenge to O'Leary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XcXK...
original broadcast on CBC: If you want to see CBC's "The Lang O'Leary Exchange" with the commercials: http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV+Show...






Take Action!
Clicking here will automatically add your name to this to Walmart CEO Mike Duke:
"Walmart: Live up to your commitment to consumer safety, and reject Monsanto's untested and potentially toxic genetically-modified sweet corn before it's planted this spring."




Automatically add your name:




Take action now!
CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.
Dear Friend,
This spring, Monsanto's GMO sweet corn — their first product for direct human consumption — will be getting planted for the first time.
Then it will be sold, unlabeled, in a grocery store near you.
What would it take to stop it? It would take the largest food retailer in the country rejecting Monsanto's untested, potentially toxic corn.
In response to pressure from more than 250,000 CREDO Activists and others last fall, Trader Joes, Whole Foods and General Mills all committed not to sell Monsanto's sweet corn.1
But not Walmart.
Walmart, wrote to us that "nothing is more important than the safety and satisfaction of our customers." But that's just not consistent with selling this unlabeled GMO sweet corn, which contains three genetic modifications — including the insecticide Bt — and hasn't been tested to prove it is safe for humans to eat.2
Walmart could make a powerful statement for consumer safety by rejecting Monsanto's GMO sweet corn, but they won't do it unless we put very public pressure on the company.
This corn is Monsanto's first foray into designing GMO foods that could wind up whole on your plate. If it's successful, we can be sure that it will just be the beginning for Monsanto, who already produces roughly 90% of GMO seeds around the globe.
As the largest food retailer, and even the largest seller of organic foods, Walmart can set an important precedent that could keep Monsanto's GMO sweet corn, and any future GMO foods, from taking root.
If Walmart really means that nothing is more important than their customers safety then they need to take a stand now.
Click below to automatically sign the petition:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=5535403&id=35505-5154581-RZHw_fx&t=10
Thanks for fighting for safe and healthy food.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets



Thanks for taking action.

Here are some ways you can spread the word to make sure Walmart takes a stand against Monsanto's sweet corn.

If you are on Facebook, click here to post the petition to your Wall.

If you have a Twitter account, click here to automatically tweet:
Tell @Walmart: Stand up for consumer safety and reject Monsanto's untested, unlabeled GMO sweet corn: http://bit.ly/yVOW5j @CREDOMobile #gmo

You can also send the following e-mail to your friends and family. Spreading the word is critical, but please only pass this message along to those who know you -- spam hurts our campaign.

Thanks for all you do.

--The CREDO Action Team

Here's a sample message to send to your friends:

Subject: Tell Walmart: Don't sell Monsanto's potentially toxic GMO sweet corn
Dear Friend,

This spring, Monsanto's GMO sweet corn -- their first product for direct human consumption -- will be getting planted for the first time.

Then it will be sold, unlabeled, in a grocery store near you.

To stop it, we'll need significant opposition from food sellers to this untested, potentially toxic product. Walmart is the largest food retailer in the country, but they have no plans to reject Monsanto's GMO sweet corn.

I just signed a petition urging Walmart to take a stand for consumer safety, and reject Monsanto's GMO sweet corn before it's planted. You can add your name here:

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/walmart_no_gmo/?r_by=35505-5154581-RZHw_fx&rc=confemail

Sin ninguna restricción

Connecticut, Estados Unidos.- El Presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, llegó a Newtown a solidarizarse y a ofrecerles apoyo a los sobrevivientes y familiares de las víctimas de la masacre del viernes, cuando un joven de 20 años asesinó a 26 personas, entre ellas 20 niños en la escuela Sandy Hook, y aseguró que estas tragedias deben terminar, para lo cual el país tiene que cambiar.
«Las escrituras nos dicen que no nos descorazonemos. Lo que vemos es temporal, lo que no vemos es eterno.
Cuando lo que tenemos se destruye sabemos que hay un edificio erigido en el cielo», comenzó el Presidente durante una ceremonia religiosa en Newtown, Connecticut, luego de entrar en el recinto, donde fue recibido con aplausos.
«No perdamos la esperanza, que si nos sentimos destrozados en este momento nos estamos renovando día a día. Para los momentos terribles que estamos pasando el futuro se presenta mejor», añadió.
«Nos reunimos aquí en memoria de 20 hermosos niños, que perdieron sus vidas en una escuela que pudo ser cualquier escuela, en un pueblo decente que podría ser cualquier pueblo de Estados Unidos», dijo.
Dos días después de la masacre, Obama leyó uno a uno los nombres de las profesoras fallecidas y recordó los momentos que se vivieron en el colegio durante el tiroteo, destacando los momentos de valentía.
«He venido a Newtown a ofrecerles el amor y las oraciones de toda la nación», afirmó Obama.
«Sólo espero que los ayude saber que no están solos en su dolor, que todo el país está devastado. En lo que los podamos ayudar, los ayudaremos».


MÉXICO, D.F. (proceso.com.mx).- Sin ninguna restricción, el modelo de rifle que utilizó Adam Lanza, autor de la masacre de este viernes en Connecticut para asesinar a 20 niños y siete adultos, está a la venta en la cadena WalMart en Estados Unidos.

En ese país cualquier persona mayor de 21 años y sin antecedentes penales puede comprar un arma en un centro comercial.

El arma es un rifle Bushmaster Patrolman’s Carbine M4A3, el cual se ofrece en la página de Internet de WalMart.

El arma tiene un precio de entre 999 y mil 200 dólares en diversas páginas web.

Ayer, un tiroteo en la escuela primaria Sandy Hook Elementary School en Newtown, Connecticut, dejó un saldo de 27 muertos.

La mayoría de las víctimas son niños de entre cinco y 10 años, lo que causó gran consternación entre la sociedad estadunidense y a escala internacional.

Tras la masacre, regresó una vez más el debate para acotar las licencias de armas en Estados Unidos.

Connecticut, Estados Unidos.- El Presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, llegó a Newtown a solidarizarse y a ofrecerles apoyo a los sobrevivientes y familiares de las víctimas de la masacre del viernes, cuando un joven de 20 años asesinó a 26 personas, entre ellas 20 niños en la escuela Sandy Hook, y aseguró que estas tragedias deben terminar, para lo cual el país tiene que cambiar.
"Las escrituras nos dicen que no nos descorazonemos. Lo que vemos es temporal, lo que no vemos es eterno.
Cuando lo que tenemos se destruye sabemos que hay un edificio erigido en el cielo", comenzó el Presidente durante una ceremonia religiosa en Newtown, Connecticut, luego de entrar en el recinto, donde fue recibido con aplausos.
"No perdamos la esperanza, que si nos sentimos destrozados en este momento nos estamos renovando día a día. Para los momentos terribles que estamos pasando el futuro se presenta mejor", añadió.
"Nos reunimos aquí en memoria de 20 hermosos niños, que perdieron sus vidas en una escuela que pudo ser cualquier escuela, en un pueblo decente que podría ser cualquier pueblo de Estados Unidos", dijo.
Dos días después de la masacre, Obama leyó uno a uno los nombres de las profesoras fallecidas y recordó los momentos que se vivieron en el colegio durante el tiroteo, destacando los momentos de valentía.
"He venido a Newtown a ofrecerles el amor y las oraciones de toda la nación", afirmó Obama.
"Sólo espero que los ayude saber que no están solos en su dolor, que todo el país está devastado. En lo que los podamos ayudar, los ayudaremos".



MÉXICO, D.F. (proceso.com.mx).- Sin ninguna restricción, el modelo de rifle que utilizó Adam Lanza, autor de la masacre de este viernes en Connecticut para asesinar a 20 niños y siete adultos, está a la venta en la cadena WalMart en Estados Unidos.

En ese país cualquier persona mayor de 21 años y sin antecedentes penales puede comprar un arma en un centro comercial.

El arma es un rifle Bushmaster Patrolman’s Carbine M4A3, el cual se ofrece en la página de Internet de WalMart.

El arma tiene un precio de entre 999 y mil 200 dólares en diversas páginas web.

Ayer, un tiroteo en la escuela primaria Sandy Hook Elementary School en Newtown, Connecticut, dejó un saldo de 27 muertos.

La mayoría de las víctimas son niños de entre cinco y 10 años, lo que causó gran consternación entre la sociedad estadunidense y a escala internacional.

Tras la masacre, regresó una vez más el debate para acotar las licencias de armas en Estados Unidos.

oil theft from Pemex

U.S. refineries bought millions of dollars worth of oil stolen from Mexican government pipelines and smuggled across the border, the U.S. Justice Department told The Associated Press – illegal operations now led by Mexican drug cartels expanding their …

U.S. refineries bought millions of dollars worth of oil stolen from Mexican government pipelines and smuggled across the border, the U.S. Justice Department told The Associated Press - illegal operations now led by Mexican drug cartels expanding their reach.

Criminals - mostly drug gangs - tap remote pipelines, sometimes building pipelines of their own, to siphon off hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil each year, the Mexican oil monopoly said. At least one U.S. oil executive has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in such a deal.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Homeland Security department is scheduled to return $2.4 million to Mexico's tax administration, the first batch of money seized during a binational investigation into smuggled oil that authorities expect to lead to more arrests and seizures.

"The United States is working with the Mexican government on the theft of oil," said Nancy Herrera, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Houston. "It's an ongoing investigation, with one indictment so far."

In that case, Donald Schroeder, president of Houston-based Trammo Petroleum, is scheduled to be sentenced in December after pleading guilty in May.

In a $2 million scheme, Herrera said, Schroeder purchased stolen Mexican oil that had been brought across the border in trucks and barges and sold it to various U.S. refineries, which she did not identify. Trammo's tiny firm profited about $150,000 in the scheme, she said.

Schroeder's attorneys said in an e-mail that neither they nor their client would respond to AP's requests for comment.

Bill Holbrook, spokesman for the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, said a single indictment against a small company should not be used to smear the reputation of the entire U.S. oil industry, "and is not indicative of how domestic refiners operate."

But in Mexico, federal police commissioner Rodrigo Esparza said the Zetas, a fierce drug gang aligned with the Gulf cartel, used false import documents to smuggle at least $46 million worth of oil in tankers to unnamed U.S. refineries.

A law enforcement source told CBS News illicit proceeds from the scheme involving theft from the Mexican government-owned Pemex oil conglomerate were seized in the investigation.

In a surprising public acknowledgment, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said last week that drug cartels have extended their operations into the theft of oil, Mexico's leading source of foreign income which finances about 40 percent of the national budget.

"These are Mexican resources, and we do not have to sit back or turn a blind eye," Calderon said. "This is our national heritage and we must defend it."

Highly sophisticated thieves using Pemex equipment "are basically working day and night, seeing how they can penetrate our infrastructure," said Pemex spokesman Carlos Ramirez. The thieves, operating in remote parts of the country, have even built tunnels and their own pipelines to siphon off the product, he said.

How much of the stolen oil is crossing into the U.S., and how much of the theft is at the hands of cartels? So far, nobody knows.

"These questions are really the center point of all of this," Ramirez said.

He said cartels in northern Mexico are responsible for most of the theft, though he said there may well be internal operatives at Pemex stealing as well. Last week, police raided Pemex offices looking for insider misconduct.

Trammo, the sole company named in court records so far, is dwarfed by any refiner most people have heard of. It sells some 2.1 million barrels a year.

Major refiners such as San Antonio-based Valero Energy can produce more than that in a single day, buying crude from tankers or pipelines, and none has been implicated in buying stolen oil.

"It is Exxon Mobil's policy to always obey relevant laws, rules and regulations everywhere we operate," said spokesman Kevin Allexon. Shell Oil Co. said it abides by all laws.

Various kinds of petroleum products, including gasoline, are being stolen and sold to gas stations and factories in Mexico, said Ramirez, adding that service stations in at least two states have been shut down recently for selling stolen gas.

The thefts are a devastating blow to Pemex, which saw production fall 7.5 percent in the first half of the year.

So far this year, Pemex is aware of 190 different thefts, almost half in the Gulf state of Veracruz. Ramirez said Pemex is using hidden cameras, extra guards and additional investigators to catch the thieves, but the problem is still spreading: So far this year, oil theft is up 10 percent, and have been confirmed in 19 states, up from 13 in 2008.

And oil theft experts say that just like drugs, the crimes will be tough to stop as long as there's money to be made.

"U.S. refineries willing to buy stolen crude don't care where it comes from. Once the product is at their doorstep, the deal is done, and they can pay pennies on the dollar without taking the risk of getting it across the border," said Kent Chrisman, director for global security with Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy.

Chrisman, a former Secret Service agent, recently teamed up with Texas law enforcement agents to bust a ring of thieves in that state.

Oil theft in general is a relatively new problem, Chrisman said, "but we've seen a big spike in recent years because oil prices went up. Every year it seems to get worse and worse. It's a profitable business."

Walmart contra Teotihuacan

¿Walmart debe abandonar Teotihuacán?

Luis Miguel González

19 Diciembre, 2012 – 00:13

Es lo menos que debería hacer si se comprueba que
 pagó sobornos para abrirla. Los derechos adquiridos
 de manera ilegal no tienen validez jurídica.

La segunda bomba del New York Times en contra de Walmart ha pegado en territorio sensible. El rotativo estadounidense acusa al gigante comercial de haber pagado sobornos por el equivalente a 200,000 dólares para alterar en su beneficio los planes de desarrollo en Teotihuacán. Esa tienda no es la única que se abrió con malas artes, de acuerdo con el NYT, pero es la que tiene un mayor peso simbólico. En los días previos y posteriores a su apertura, fue objeto de fuertes críticas por grupos defensores del patrimonio arqueológico. Ahora, vuelve a atraer la atención gracias al trabajo del NYT. En él, se describen con detalle las maniobras de la multinacional. La investigación de los periodistas Xanic Von Bertrab y David Barstow es letal en sus conclusiones: “Walmart de México no fue la víctima reluctante de una cultura corrupta que les arrancó sobornos como parte del costo normal de hacer negocios… Walmart fue un corruptor agresivo y creativo, ofreció sobornos para conseguir lo que la ley le prohibía”.

La empresa emitió un comunicado en el que reconoce que la apertura de la tienda en Teotihuacán es parte de sus investigaciones internas. No ofreció detalles sobre el grado de avance de estas pesquisas ni adelantó conclusiones. “Podemos tener un mal día de ventas y esperar que se compense con un buen día para tener un buen promedio de ventas… Pero no podemos tener una integridad promedio”, dijo Michael Duke, el presidente del corporativo. “Usaremos estos eventos para elevar la barra y hacer de Walmart una mejor compañía. La investigación tendrá el tiempo y los recursos que necesita”.

La empresa ha extendido su investigación interna desde México hasta India, China, Brasil y otros países. Para realizarla, ha gastado cerca de 100 millones de dólares en costos de investigación y legales. Esta cifra podría ser microscópica comparada con la multa que las autoridades estadounidenses podrían imponer. El soborno de oficiales extranjeros es un delito grave en la legislación de Estados Unidos. Por ese motivo, Siemens fue multada en el 2008 con 800 millones de dólares. La petrolera Halliburton fue sancionada con 588 millones de dólares, equivalentes a 3% de sus ventas, por sobornos pagados en Nigeria.

México cuenta, desde abril del 2012, con una ley que sanciona a las empresas corruptoras. De acuerdo con la misma, la máxima sanción aplicable a Walmart en México sería de 100 millones de pesos… En caso de que las autoridades quisieran actuar. Hace unos meses, luego de la primera publicación del NYT, las autoridades federales y del GDF se apresuraron en exculpar a la multinacional. ¿Se atreverán a hacerlo otra vez? Todo es posible, aunque esta vez será más complicado. Están los nuevos datos que aporta el NYT y el reconocimiento de Michael Duke de que Walmart está investigando sus propias acciones en Teotihuacán.

¿Debería Walmart cerrar la Bodega Aurrerá de San Juan Teotihuacán? Es lo menos que puede hacer, en caso de que se compruebe que pagó sobornos para abrirla. Los derechos adquiridos de manera ilegal no tienen validez jurídica. Los hechos presuntamente ilegales cometidos en el 2004 están produciendo beneficios para la empresa y eso no es justo, en caso de que el NYT tenga razón. Cerrarla sería una manera de restaurar parcialmente los daños… de hacer de Walmart una mejor compañía, tal y como Michael Duke predica.

lmgonzalez@eleconomista.com.mx


Wall Mart contra Teotihuacan: Premeditación, Alevosía y Ventaja

Cuando Wal-Mart entra por la puerta, la justicia sale por la ventana.

Enmanuel, con diabetes, con 46 kilos de peso…en las mazmorras por oponerse a la expolición de la arqueología mexicana.

El capitalismo salvaje, acompañado de consumismo y ansia de lucro, convirtió a la Ciudad “donde los hombres se vuelven dioses”, en la ciudad donde los “dioses se vuelven mercachifles, especuladores y agiotistas”.

A pesar de que en Agosto de 1988 se estableció mediante el decreto presidencial el estatuto más importante de zona de monumentos arqueológicos, Teotihuacan se ha visto invadida. Primero fue el del Club Mediterranée, inaugurado por López Portillo y su Secretario de Turismo, después la construcción del Hotel Quinto Sol que además de estar dentro del perímetro de la zona, afecto el puente llamado “del emperador”, del siglo XIX.

Mas reciente fue la construcción y operación de un aurrerá, también dentro de los límites de restricción de la zona arqueológica.

En los últimos de estos casos me puse al frente de movimientos reivindicativos del patrimonio Cultural Nacional y el respeto a la Zona de monumentos, contando con un amplísimo concenso de la comunidad intelectual y del pueblo en defensa de nuestro legado. Sin embargo, el poder del dinero, particularmenteen el caso de Walt Mart, hizo doblegar a las autoridades del más alto nivel del país y los proyectos están funcionando.

Ahora el desafío es más directo, pues se ha practicado cerca de 7000 horadaciones en las estructuras de los templos para la instalación del espectáculo de luz y sonido, que afortunadamente está detenido, pero sin que se haya declarado su cancelación.

Paralelamente Walt Mart pretende ahora realizar un desarrollo estilo Disneyladia, naturalmente con su Vips, Portón y un vasto centro comercial, siempre dentro de la zona arqueológica.

III. Walt Mart es la empresa más grande del mundo, solo en México, el primero de sus mercados fuera de los Estados Unidos, opera cerca de 1700 puntos de venta entre Aurreras, Vips, Suburbias, SAM´S Club y superamas, corporativa de Wal manejada desde Bentonville, la hace en Arkansas, la hace gracias a apoyos políticos del más alto nivel de Washingtong, dispone de una enorme plataforma mercantil.

Una de las políticas de la empresa es evitar la formación de sindicatos entre sus trabajadores, permitiéndose explotarlos sin límite, en horarios extremos.

Por otro lado, la posición dominante que tiene Walt Mart le permite ejercer presiones descomunales sobre sus proveedores y contratistas, lo que sí, efectivamente puede permitirle dar precios más bajos, pone en aprietos a los productores, muy especialmente a los de bienes de consumo.

Otro de los arietes de la empresa es el crédito. El crédito de la tarjeta que otorga Walt Mart en su mayoría carece de respaldo de los acreedores, pero los abogados de confianza son inexorables cuando de recuperar las acreencias se trata: llaman a la medianoche, dejan recados intimidatorios con los patrones de los deudores y no escatiman esfuerzos legales para desaparecer a los no pagadores.

Quien después de leer sobre los alcances de Walt Mart en México y constatar donde quiera su presencia comercial, considere que es una empresa que contribuye sustancialmente al fisco, se equivoca, pues en el ejercicio pasado solo pago la friolera de $78.00, sí, setenta y ocho pesos por su operación global en nuestro país.

Cada mexicano que acuda a comprar a Walt Mart y sus filiales, alimenta con su dinero al depredador extranjero, es preciso pues, despertar nuestra conciencia de consumidores responsables y dejar de consumir en Walt Mart

¿Walmart debe abandonar Teotihuacán?

Luis Miguel González

19 Diciembre, 2012 - 00:13

Es lo menos que debería hacer si se comprueba que? pagó sobornos para abrirla. Los derechos adquiridos? de manera ilegal no tienen validez jurídica.

La segunda bomba del New York Times en contra de Walmart ha pegado en territorio sensible. El rotativo estadounidense acusa al gigante comercial de haber pagado sobornos por el equivalente a 200,000 dólares para alterar en su beneficio los planes de desarrollo en Teotihuacán. Esa tienda no es la única que se abrió con malas artes, de acuerdo con el NYT, pero es la que tiene un mayor peso simbólico. En los días previos y posteriores a su apertura, fue objeto de fuertes críticas por grupos defensores del patrimonio arqueológico. Ahora, vuelve a atraer la atención gracias al trabajo del NYT. En él, se describen con detalle las maniobras de la multinacional. La investigación de los periodistas Xanic Von Bertrab y David Barstow es letal en sus conclusiones: “Walmart de México no fue la víctima reluctante de una cultura corrupta que les arrancó sobornos como parte del costo normal de hacer negocios… Walmart fue un corruptor agresivo y creativo, ofreció sobornos para conseguir lo que la ley le prohibía”.



La empresa emitió un comunicado en el que reconoce que la apertura de la tienda en Teotihuacán es parte de sus investigaciones internas. No ofreció detalles sobre el grado de avance de estas pesquisas ni adelantó conclusiones. “Podemos tener un mal día de ventas y esperar que se compense con un buen día para tener un buen promedio de ventas… Pero no podemos tener una integridad promedio”, dijo Michael Duke, el presidente del corporativo. “Usaremos estos eventos para elevar la barra y hacer de Walmart una mejor compañía. La investigación tendrá el tiempo y los recursos que necesita”.

La empresa ha extendido su investigación interna desde México hasta India, China, Brasil y otros países. Para realizarla, ha gastado cerca de 100 millones de dólares en costos de investigación y legales. Esta cifra podría ser microscópica comparada con la multa que las autoridades estadounidenses podrían imponer. El soborno de oficiales extranjeros es un delito grave en la legislación de Estados Unidos. Por ese motivo, Siemens fue multada en el 2008 con 800 millones de dólares. La petrolera Halliburton fue sancionada con 588 millones de dólares, equivalentes a 3% de sus ventas, por sobornos pagados en Nigeria.

México cuenta, desde abril del 2012, con una ley que sanciona a las empresas corruptoras. De acuerdo con la misma, la máxima sanción aplicable a Walmart en México sería de 100 millones de pesos… En caso de que las autoridades quisieran actuar. Hace unos meses, luego de la primera publicación del NYT, las autoridades federales y del GDF se apresuraron en exculpar a la multinacional. ¿Se atreverán a hacerlo otra vez? Todo es posible, aunque esta vez será más complicado. Están los nuevos datos que aporta el NYT y el reconocimiento de Michael Duke de que Walmart está investigando sus propias acciones en Teotihuacán.

¿Debería Walmart cerrar la Bodega Aurrerá de San Juan Teotihuacán? Es lo menos que puede hacer, en caso de que se compruebe que pagó sobornos para abrirla. Los derechos adquiridos de manera ilegal no tienen validez jurídica. Los hechos presuntamente ilegales cometidos en el 2004 están produciendo beneficios para la empresa y eso no es justo, en caso de que el NYT tenga razón. Cerrarla sería una manera de restaurar parcialmente los daños... de hacer de Walmart una mejor compañía, tal y como Michael Duke predica.

lmgonzalez@eleconomista.com.mx



Wall Mart contra Teotihuacan: Premeditación, Alevosía y Ventaja

Cuando Wal-Mart entra por la puerta, la justicia sale por la ventana.

Enmanuel, con diabetes, con 46 kilos de peso...en las mazmorras por oponerse a la expolición de la arqueología mexicana.




El capitalismo salvaje, acompañado de consumismo y ansia de lucro, convirtió a la Ciudad “donde los hombres se vuelven dioses”, en la ciudad donde los “dioses se vuelven mercachifles, especuladores y agiotistas”.

A pesar de que en Agosto de 1988 se estableció mediante el decreto presidencial el estatuto más importante de zona de monumentos arqueológicos, Teotihuacan se ha visto invadida. Primero fue el del Club Mediterranée, inaugurado por López Portillo y su Secretario de Turismo, después la construcción del Hotel Quinto Sol que además de estar dentro del perímetro de la zona, afecto el puente llamado “del emperador”, del siglo XIX.

Mas reciente fue la construcción y operación de un aurrerá, también dentro de los límites de restricción de la zona arqueológica.

En los últimos de estos casos me puse al frente de movimientos reivindicativos del patrimonio Cultural Nacional y el respeto a la Zona de monumentos, contando con un amplísimo concenso de la comunidad intelectual y del pueblo en defensa de nuestro legado. Sin embargo, el poder del dinero, particularmenteen el caso de Walt Mart, hizo doblegar a las autoridades del más alto nivel del país y los proyectos están funcionando.

Ahora el desafío es más directo, pues se ha practicado cerca de 7000 horadaciones en las estructuras de los templos para la instalación del espectáculo de luz y sonido, que afortunadamente está detenido, pero sin que se haya declarado su cancelación.

Paralelamente Walt Mart pretende ahora realizar un desarrollo estilo Disneyladia, naturalmente con su Vips, Portón y un vasto centro comercial, siempre dentro de la zona arqueológica.

III. Walt Mart es la empresa más grande del mundo, solo en México, el primero de sus mercados fuera de los Estados Unidos, opera cerca de 1700 puntos de venta entre Aurreras, Vips, Suburbias, SAM´S Club y superamas, corporativa de Wal manejada desde Bentonville, la hace en Arkansas, la hace gracias a apoyos políticos del más alto nivel de Washingtong, dispone de una enorme plataforma mercantil.

Una de las políticas de la empresa es evitar la formación de sindicatos entre sus trabajadores, permitiéndose explotarlos sin límite, en horarios extremos.

Por otro lado, la posición dominante que tiene Walt Mart le permite ejercer presiones descomunales sobre sus proveedores y contratistas, lo que sí, efectivamente puede permitirle dar precios más bajos, pone en aprietos a los productores, muy especialmente a los de bienes de consumo.

Otro de los arietes de la empresa es el crédito. El crédito de la tarjeta que otorga Walt Mart en su mayoría carece de respaldo de los acreedores, pero los abogados de confianza son inexorables cuando de recuperar las acreencias se trata: llaman a la medianoche, dejan recados intimidatorios con los patrones de los deudores y no escatiman esfuerzos legales para desaparecer a los no pagadores.

Quien después de leer sobre los alcances de Walt Mart en México y constatar donde quiera su presencia comercial, considere que es una empresa que contribuye sustancialmente al fisco, se equivoca, pues en el ejercicio pasado solo pago la friolera de $78.00, sí, setenta y ocho pesos por su operación global en nuestro país.

Cada mexicano que acuda a comprar a Walt Mart y sus filiales, alimenta con su dinero al depredador extranjero, es preciso pues, despertar nuestra conciencia de consumidores responsables y dejar de consumir en Walt Mart

Walmart Stores, Inc

LOS ANGELES — Warehouse workers in Southern California have filed a petition in court to name Walmart as a defendant in a federal wage-theft lawsuit, marking a significant turn in low-wage supply chain workers’ fight with the world’s largest retailer.

Although workers in Walmart’s contracted warehouses in California and Illinois have alleged labor violations in the past, the filing on Friday is the first time Walmart itself has been directly implicated in the claims of abuse. Until now, only the retailer’s subcontractors have been accused in court of shorting workers on pay and forcing them to work in substandard conditions.

«Walmart’s name does not appear on any of these workers paychecks, and the Walmart logo does not appear on the t-shirts they’re required to wear,» Michael Rubin, the workers’ lawyer, said on Friday. «But it has become increasingly clear that the ultimate liability for these workplace violations rests squarely on the shoulders of Walmart.»

While Walmart directly manages much of its distribution network, the company outsources the operation of some of its largest warehouses to third-party logistics firms, which in turn hire low-paid temporary workers to perform the heavy lifting. These warehouses have become the target of a union-backed organizing effort through the groups Warehouse Workers United and Warehouse Workers for Justice, and several of them have been hit with employee lawsuits and labor-law violations.

In the case amended Friday, six workers at a Walmart-contracted warehouse in Riverside, Calif., sued a series of subcontractors last year, claiming they were paid less than the minimum wage, required to work in excessively hot conditions and retaliated against by superiors as they loaded and unloaded trucks and containers. Although the workers said the products they handled were destined for Walmart stores, the mega-retailer was not originally named in the suit.

Worker advocates have argued all along that Walmart, as the top company in the contract chain, is morally responsible for the working conditions at the warehouses its goods pass through. By trying to bring Walmart into the lawsuit now, they hope to prove that the company is legally and financially responsible as well, arguing that Walmart controls the operation and serves as the ultimate beneficiary of the work.

«I know that Walmart is responsible for all of this, even though they say they have nothing to do with us,» said one of the plaintiffs, David Acosta, speaking in Spanish on a call with reporters Friday. «The boxes say Walmart, the containers say Walmart — everything belongs to Walmart.»

Walmart spokesman Dave Tovar has said the company has made a «business decision» to no longer comment for Huffington Post stories, «due to the one-sided reporting and unfair and unbalanced editorial decisions.»

Acosta said he and his colleagues, many of them Latino immigrants, worked 12 to 16-hour days, earning roughly the minimum wage without overtime pay. He said they received a lunch each day but no other breaks. «Our dignity was thrown to the floor,» he added.

The success or failure of the suit could have broader implications for workers who try to sue subcontractors. As HuffPost reported last year, much of the retail sector’s supply chain is now predicated on a system of outsourcing, where larger, brand-name players subcontract the work to smaller, little-seen players, who ultimately hold the legal liability for workers’ well-being. A similar arrangement now persists in many food-processing and manufacturing operations as well.


Walmart Stores, Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. With over two million employees and 8,500 stores, Walmart is the largest private employer in the world. It is also the third largest corporation in the world, ranked just behind the energy giants Shell and ExxonMobil.
There is perhaps no U.S. corporation that exploits its workers as brutally and effectively as Walmart. Paid on average only $8.81 per hour, hundreds of thousands of Walmart employees—including many full-time workers—live below the poverty line. To keep these underpaid workers vulnerable and compliant, Walmart deploys numerous union-busting tactics and other dirty tricks such as forcing higher-paid, full-time employees to work inconvenient “flexible” shifts in order to get them to quit, imposing Darwinian-style policies on the sales floor to reduce worker morale, and pressuring employees to work overtime without pay or risk being fired. Walmart also systematically engages in illegal employee wage theft, as store managers are trained to falsify time sheets or simply not pay employees for all their hours worked. In fact, between 2005 and 2011, Walmart settled over 70 class action lawsuits involving the stolen wages of over a million current and former employees, costing the company more than $1 billion in damages. And rather than providing affordable health benefits, Walmart offers each of its workers assistance in applying to state and federal welfare programs such as Food Stamps and Medicaid. Recent studies estimate that Walmart’s work force collects a staggering $2.6 billion in taxpayer-funded welfare annually, a sum amounting to $420,000 per store. 
Walmart’s enormous market share combined with its business model of selling the cheapest possible products also puts downward pressure on wages along its entire supply chain of manufacturers and farmers, as thousands of Walmart suppliers [(both in the U.S. and abroad)] are forced to cut their own labor costs in order to compete. Walmart also destroys many more jobs than it creates, eliminating approximately 150 retail jobs in every county it enters, along with many service jobs too, as Walmart’s arrival often decimates entire downtown shopping districts. Walmart’s main pretense—that its low prices save consumers money—is more than offset by the reduced spending power of large segments of the population resulting directly from Walmart’s negative impact on jobs and wages. For these reasons and more, there is no corporation more singly responsible for the impoverishment of American workers than Walmart.
  • Walmart made $15.4 billion in profits in 2011, despite the recession.
  • If Walmart paid all their 1.4 million U.S. employees an extra $5,000 per year, they would still make over $7 billion in profit.
  • The six heirs to the Walmart fortune are together worth $93 billion, which is equal to the net worth of the bottom 41% of the U.S. population.
  • The Walton family has given only 2.4% of their wealth to charity. By comparison, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg and over 70 other wealthy people have given over 50%.
On October 9th, 2012, hundreds of Walmart employees in twelve states walked off the job in the first ever strike in the corporation’s fifty year history, achieving widespread public support and winning some early concessions from the corporation. Given Walmart’s size and influence over the entire economy, the continuing campaign by these courageous workers carries implications far beyond the behemoth’s own big box stores, as their efforts help promote the growth of a mutually-supportive grassroots movement of education, protest and civil disobedience.

References & external links:

LOS ANGELES -- Warehouse workers in Southern California have filed a petition in court to name Walmart as a defendant in a federal wage-theft lawsuit, marking a significant turn in low-wage supply chain workers' fight with the world's largest retailer.

Although workers in Walmart's contracted warehouses in California and Illinois have alleged labor violations in the past, the filing on Friday is the first time Walmart itself has been directly implicated in the claims of abuse. Until now, only the retailer's subcontractors have been accused in court of shorting workers on pay and forcing them to work in substandard conditions.

"Walmart's name does not appear on any of these workers paychecks, and the Walmart logo does not appear on the t-shirts they're required to wear," Michael Rubin, the workers' lawyer, said on Friday. "But it has become increasingly clear that the ultimate liability for these workplace violations rests squarely on the shoulders of Walmart."
While Walmart directly manages much of its distribution network, the company outsources the operation of some of its largest warehouses to third-party logistics firms, which in turn hire low-paid temporary workers to perform the heavy lifting. These warehouses have become the target of a union-backed organizing effort through the groups Warehouse Workers United and Warehouse Workers for Justice, and several of them have been hit with employee lawsuits and labor-law violations.

In the case amended Friday, six workers at a Walmart-contracted warehouse in Riverside, Calif., sued a series of subcontractors last year, claiming they were paid less than the minimum wage, required to work in excessively hot conditions and retaliated against by superiors as they loaded and unloaded trucks and containers. Although the workers said the products they handled were destined for Walmart stores, the mega-retailer was not originally named in the suit.

Worker advocates have argued all along that Walmart, as the top company in the contract chain, is morally responsible for the working conditions at the warehouses its goods pass through. By trying to bring Walmart into the lawsuit now, they hope to prove that the company is legally and financially responsible as well, arguing that Walmart controls the operation and serves as the ultimate beneficiary of the work.
"I know that Walmart is responsible for all of this, even though they say they have nothing to do with us," said one of the plaintiffs, David Acosta, speaking in Spanish on a call with reporters Friday. "The boxes say Walmart, the containers say Walmart -- everything belongs to Walmart."
Walmart spokesman Dave Tovar has said the company has made a "business decision" to no longer comment for Huffington Post stories, "due to the one-sided reporting and unfair and unbalanced editorial decisions."

Acosta said he and his colleagues, many of them Latino immigrants, worked 12 to 16-hour days, earning roughly the minimum wage without overtime pay. He said they received a lunch each day but no other breaks. "Our dignity was thrown to the floor," he added.

The success or failure of the suit could have broader implications for workers who try to sue subcontractors. As HuffPost reported last year, much of the retail sector's supply chain is now predicated on a system of outsourcing, where larger, brand-name players subcontract the work to smaller, little-seen players, who ultimately hold the legal liability for workers' well-being. A similar arrangement now persists in many food-processing and manufacturing operations as well.




Walmart Stores, Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. With over two million employees and 8,500 stores, Walmart is the largest private employer in the world. It is also the third largest corporation in the world, ranked just behind the energy giants Shell and ExxonMobil.
There is perhaps no U.S. corporation that exploits its workers as brutally and effectively as Walmart. Paid on average only $8.81 per hour, hundreds of thousands of Walmart employees—including many full-time workers—live below the poverty line. To keep these underpaid workers vulnerable and compliant, Walmart deploys numerous union-busting tactics and other dirty tricks such as forcing higher-paid, full-time employees to work inconvenient “flexible” shifts in order to get them to quit, imposing Darwinian-style policies on the sales floor to reduce worker morale, and pressuring employees to work overtime without pay or risk being fired. Walmart also systematically engages in illegal employee wage theft, as store managers are trained to falsify time sheets or simply not pay employees for all their hours worked. In fact, between 2005 and 2011, Walmart settled over 70 class action lawsuits involving the stolen wages of over a million current and former employees, costing the company more than $1 billion in damages. And rather than providing affordable health benefits, Walmart offers each of its workers assistance in applying to state and federal welfare programs such as Food Stamps and Medicaid. Recent studies estimate that Walmart’s work force collects a staggering $2.6 billion in taxpayer-funded welfare annually, a sum amounting to $420,000 per store. 
Walmart’s enormous market share combined with its business model of selling the cheapest possible products also puts downward pressure on wages along its entire supply chain of manufacturers and farmers, as thousands of Walmart suppliers [(both in the U.S. and abroad)] are forced to cut their own labor costs in order to compete. Walmart also destroys many more jobs than it creates, eliminating approximately 150 retail jobs in every county it enters, along with many service jobs too, as Walmart’s arrival often decimates entire downtown shopping districts. Walmart’s main pretense—that its low prices save consumers money—is more than offset by the reduced spending power of large segments of the population resulting directly from Walmart’s negative impact on jobs and wages. For these reasons and more, there is no corporation more singly responsible for the impoverishment of American workers than Walmart.
  • Walmart made $15.4 billion in profits in 2011, despite the recession.
  • If Walmart paid all their 1.4 million U.S. employees an extra $5,000 per year, they would still make over $7 billion in profit.
  • The six heirs to the Walmart fortune are together worth $93 billion, which is equal to the net worth of the bottom 41% of the U.S. population.
  • The Walton family has given only 2.4% of their wealth to charity. By comparison, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg and over 70 other wealthy people have given over 50%.
On October 9th, 2012, hundreds of Walmart employees in twelve states walked off the job in the first ever strike in the corporation’s fifty year history, achieving widespread public support and winning some early concessions from the corporation. Given Walmart’s size and influence over the entire economy, the continuing campaign by these courageous workers carries implications far beyond the behemoth’s own big box stores, as their efforts help promote the growth of a mutually-supportive grassroots movement of education, protest and civil disobedience.

References & external links: