Target: C. Douglas Mcmillon, Walmart CEO
Goal: Tell Walmart to stop using shrimp suppliers that rely on slaves
Several major supermarkets including Walmart have been found to be relying on shrimp suppliers that use slaves. These slave are threatened with violence to work for years without pay in the Asian seafood industry. A recent investigation uncovered an industry where large numbers of people were being bought and sold and then held captive on fishing boats of the coast of Thailand. Please take action to demand that Walmart stop using suppliers that rely on slaves in order to produce cheap seafood.
These slave boats provide fishmeal to the world’s largest prawn farmer, Charoen Pokphand, a Thai company. The fishmeal is used to feed the farmed prawns which are then sold to large western grocery store chains such as Walmart and Tesco.
Escaped slaves from the fishing boats have told of inhumane conditions involving 20 hour shifts, torture, beatings, and murder. Methamphetamines were regularly used to keep the slaves able to work long shifts. It is not uncommon for the slaves to remain at sea for years.
A group of migrant workers from Burma were tricked into slavery by job brokers who told them they would provide them with jobs, but then sold them to boat captains instead. One of the escaped slaves stated, “They kept me chained up, they didn’t care about me or give me any food. They sold us like animals, but we are not animals – we are human beings.” Another slave reports having seen more than 20 fellow slaves killed in front of him.
These slave boats fish large amounts of inedible fish of the coast of Thailand in international waters. This fish is then taken to factories where it is ground into fishmeal. The fishmeal is then fed to farmed prawns, which are in turned sold to stores such as Walmart and Tesco. In this way these supermarkets are indirectly relying on actual slave labor in order to obtain cheap seafood.
It is appalling that stores such as Walmart would rely on a fishing industry that uses slaves as part of the production process. Please sign this petition to demand that Walmart terminate its relationship with theses suppliers immediately.
Dear C. Douglas Mcmillon:
A recent investigation revealed that one of your seafood suppliers in Thailand, Charoen Pokphand, has been relying on slaves in order to produce cheaply farmed prawns. According to the report, these slaves were bought and sold, held against their will, tortured, and even murdered in order to provide labor for fishing boats obtaining fish to feed the farmed prawns.
Hopefully you are as appalled by this revelation as most of your customers will be. I encourage you to stop buying prawns from this supplier immediately, and take better care in the future to ensure that Walmart is not relying on slaves in order to obtain cheap seafood, or any other products.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Robert K. Brigham via Wikimedia Commons