Walmart and Asda

November 1, 2006 : Lunch Breaks? Not at Walmart and Asda!

In the US, Wal-Mart lose a bit of change from their back trouser pockets after losing a lawsuit. In the UK, ASDA (owned by Wal-Mart), the second largest supermarket in the country, are accused of scheming to undermine workers.

In the US, workers from a Pennsylvanian Wal-Mart have successfully sued the company for unpaid overtime and for disallowing lunch breaks. Wal-Mart lost on the 12th October after jurors ruled that ‘Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, violated Pennsylvania labor laws by forcing hourly employees to work through rest periods and after their shifts had ended.'[1]

The battle isn’t over yet. There’s ongoing concern about Wal-Mart’s consistent disregard of workers’ rights and of its union busting activities.

In the UK, campaigning group War On Want uncovered a leaked document: ‘Warehouse Chip Away Strategy 2005’. This document outlines how ‘Asda senior management plan to drastically undermine labour standards.'[2]

More information from: www.walmartwatch.com and www.gaff.org.uk (Grassroots Action on Food and Farming). To take action: www.waronwant.org/asda and www.asdawatch.org.

Corporate Watch’s report: What’s Wrong with Supermarkets? is available from our online publications portal

References
[1] Sophie Pearson & Margaret Cronin Fisk, ‘Wal-Mart Loses Pennsylvania Suit Over Missed Breaks’, www.bloomberg.com viewed 26/10/06

[2] Joe Zacune, ‘Wal-Mart Schemes to Keep Prices – and Wages – Low’, www.waronwant.org/asda viewed 27/10/06


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