Demand that Walmart Stop Profiting from Forced Labor in Lousiana

Target: Walmart CEO Mike Duke and Vice President of Ethical Sourcing Rajan Kamalanathan

Goal: Acknowledge forced labor claims by your principal seafood supplier, C.J.’s Seafood, and cut ties with the company.

One of Walmart’s principal seafood suppliers, C.J.’s Seafood in Louisiana, has been exposed for its atrocious working conditions and the oppressive tactics it employs towards its low-wage workers. Walmart claims to have a policy that doesn’t allow forced labor by any of its suppliers, but responded to worker’s complaints with a half-hearted investigation, concluding the claims were unable to be substantiated. We must insist that Walmart stand by its policy by meeting with the workers and conducting a real investigation.

At the start of the month, 8 of the 40 crawfish packers at C.J.’s Seafood, hired on H-2B guestworker visas, joined the National Guestworker Alliance and went on strike. When the plant manager did not address their concerns, they filed a complaint with the federal Labor Department and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission alleging that the company violated federal law by making the guestworkers work up to 24-hour shifts with no overtime pay, going as far as locking them in the plant to force them to continue working and threatening them and their families with violence.

When the striking workers took their complaints to Walmart, the retail giant performed a cursory investigation and issued their indifference with a public statement, announcing that they were “unable to substantiate claims of forced labor.” Throughout the investigation, Walmart refused to meet or speak with the workers who filed the complaints, nor with their representatives at the National Guestworker Alliance. Walmart says it has a tough set of ethical standards for its suppliers, but their most recent reaction to the workers’ complaints shows otherwise.

Sign the petition below to demand that Walmart respect the workers’ demands and conduct a rigorous investigation against C.J.’s Seafood to prove to its customers that its suppliers really do adhere to their “rigorous Standards for Suppliers code of conduct.”

 

PETITION LETTER:

Dear CEO of Walmart Mike Duke, and Vice President of Ethical Sourcing Rajan Kamalanathan,

One of Walmart’s principal seafood suppliers, C.J.’s Seafood in Louisiana, has been exposed for its atrocious working conditions and the oppressive tactics it employs towards its low-wage workers. Walmart claims to have a policy that doesn’t allow forced labor by any of its suppliers, but your most recent reaction to the workers’ demands shows otherwise.

The striking workers made it known to Walmart that the managers at C.J.’s Seafood made the guestworkers work up to 24-hour shifts with no overtime pay, going as far as locking them in the plant to force them to continue working and threatening them and their families with violence. I am appalled that instead of conducting an in-depth investigation of your own supplier, Walmart refused to meet or speak with the workers who filed the complaints, nor with their representatives at the National Guestworker Alliance.

As a concerned customer, I call on you to adhere to your own policy against forced labor and conduct a rigorous investigation against C.J.’s Seafood, beginning with a meeting with the striking workers. Only then will you prove to me and other concerned customers that you take responsibility for ensuring your suppliers really do adhere to your “rigorous Standards for Suppliers” code of conduct.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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Signatures

  • Jeanie Streit
  • macarena rivera
  • Stefano Serpico
  • alicia masia moreno
  • OT3P_Wolf
  • Alan Haggard
  • Yvonne Fast
  • Ms. Marianne A. van Ophuijsen
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