Companies in Slavery: Walmart

 

     If you've ever gone to town with me or gone shopping with me, you'll know I'm very passionate about Walmart. You might be thinking, "What? Why does she love Walmart so much?"
     I don't love Walmart, it's just the opposite. I really, really, dislike Walmart. You could even say I hate Walmart, as hate means "to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest:" and there's my two words, dislike and passionately. In other words - I think Walmart is a warthog-faced buffoon!
      How can I dislike Walmart so much? They have low prices, have friendly workers, and sell everything from clothes to furniture to produce in their stores! I'll tell you why, and I will address some of the excuses I've heard in defence of Walmart.
       Walmart sells a lot of things from China. In fact, China is where the largest amount of Walmart's sweatshops are located. I think this is pretty commonly known, but many people still make excuses for this.
       "Well, other stores carry the same things from Walmart!" or, "We just buy things made in Canada." These sound like good excuses but they're NOT! Walmart OWNS these factories, supporting Walmart is supporting them. What is so bad about these factories, though?
     These factories have lots of horrible things going on in them. Here's a list for you of just four things going on in the factories, and Walmart.
 1. Child labour. Children work in these factories, and I think a better term would be 'child slavery'.  
It is said in some reports that children are being forced to sleep on the factory floors due to the extreme working hours and conditions. One week of time records from 25,000 employees in July 2000 found 1,371 times when minors worked too late, during school hours, or for too many hours in a day. There were 60,767 missed breaks and 15,705 lost meal times. (IHS Child Slave Labour News article) 
2. Workers are underpaid, and below poverty, into the misery class. Their life is all working, just trying to survive.  
Workers at the Huasheng crafts factory in the southern China city of Guangzhou work 14 hours a day seven days a week during peak production season and can earn 22 percent less than the 41- cent-per-hour minimum wage in Guangdong Province, according to New York-based China Labor Watch and the National Labor Committee.  
3. Walmart makes big profit on their products.   
The total cost to make a jean shirt sold at Walmart is 3.75, and Walmart sells it for 11.67. Yet they still seemingly 'can't afford' to pay their workers properly.  
4. Walmart is promoted for being green, but it is NOT green. 
  Metric tons of CO2 emitted by Walmart worldwide is 21 million. Metric tons emitted by 50 smallest emitting countries combined is 15 million. (Motherjones.com article)

  Walmart could raise workers wages to something decent and still, make a big profit. They make 32 BILLION dollars in profit each year. The Average Walmart associate in America makes 17k a year, and the average worker in China makes 10 dollars a day or less. Does this seem fair at all? No! Walmart has stated that they are working on changing things, but there have been no signs of improvement yet.
      When Walmart moved into my town, I decided not to support them and shop there. The reasons I listed are enough, but besides them all, Walmart takes away business from the local stores. Since they've moved here, many of the smaller and more local stores have been forced to shut down. They just couldn't compete with the low prices found at Walmart.
 
   What will you do to take a stand against the injustice?
   
    Sincerely, Rachel

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