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.'
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.'
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
 Sophie Pearson & Margaret Cronin Fisk, ‘Wal-Mart Loses Pennsylvania Suit Over Missed Breaks’, www.bloomberg.com viewed 26/10/06
 Joe Zacune, ‘Wal-Mart Schemes to Keep Prices – and Wages – Low’, www.waronwant.org/asda viewed 27/10/06