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Wal-Mart's Prison Labor Problem

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Published on Dec 4, 2012

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Wal-Mart's Prison Labor Problem
Wal- Mart.
It's as American as Mom and Apple pie, right? After all, the illegal anti-union tactics, violation of child labor laws, forcing workers to work off the clock without pay, forcing suppliers to deliver goods at a price point that incentivizes factory conditions with no emergency exits where brown people living in a far off land get burnt alive while sewing clothes that we can then wrap so daintily in tissue paper and boxes and festive holiday wrapping papers and ribbons and bows all tucked under the Christmas tree with sugar plums and cheer in a never ending cycle of consumption that has delivered wealth to the six Walton heirs that exceeds the wealth of the bottom 40% of Americans is what we American's call living better.

AMRRREICA!

Add to the list of business practices those Wal-Mart employees: the profiteering from prison labor. As Al Norman, the founder of Sprawl Busters, wrote in a December 3rd Huffington Post article:

"Every year, Wal-Mart has to dispose of millions of dollars worth of customer returns, buy-backs, over-stocks, shelf-pulls, scratch-and-dent, and excess inventories. The giant retailer sells this merchandise to liquidators, who scrub the products of any Wal-Mart serial numbers, UPC bar codes -- and then resell them to after-market retailers, who re-sell them to the public.

The workers used to strip these Wal-Mart products clean are often prisoner laborers, under a program made possible by the federal government. In effect, the liquidators are partially subsidized by federal taxpayers, who provide the 'demanufacturing' facilities, and cheap, captive labor -- usually female prisoners. This form of corporate welfare allows salvage companies to offer Wal-Mart a low price for their cast-off products."

This, despite the fact that in Wal-Mart self published standards for suppliers that "Forced or prison labor will not be tolerated by Wal-Mart."

Perhaps the American people should come up with standards for retailers. So go ahead, Acronym viewers, lets brain storm some ideas in the comments- what are the conditions we should set for the places we shop? And for bonus points, what are the conditions we should set for corporations (corporations being a legal creation grated by the people) in order for those corporations to retain their corporate charter?

Tags
Wal-Mart , Returned Goods , Prison Labor , Walmart Prison Labor , holiday shopping, live better, save money live better, sale, shopping

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