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LiviaOlivia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 03:44 AM
Original message
Wal-Mart Agrees to Pay Fine in Child Labor Cases
The New York Times
February 12, 2005
Wal-Mart Agrees to Pay Fine in Child Labor Cases
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

Wal-Mart Stores, the nation's largest retailer, has agreed to pay $135,540 to settle federal charges that it violated child labor laws in Connecticut, Arkansas and New Hampshire. Labor Department officials said most of the 24 violations covered by the settlement involved workers under age 18 operating dangerous machinery, including cardboard balers and chain saws. In the agreement, Wal-Mart denied any wrongdoing.

~snip~

A provision also promises to give Wal-Mart 15 days' notice before the Labor Department investigates any other "wage and hour" accusations, like failure to pay minimum wage or overtime.

That provision drew criticism yesterday from Representative George Miller of California, the senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee. It also prompted complaints from some Labor Department investigators who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. "With child labor cases involving the use of hazardous machinery, why give 15 days' notice before we can do an investigation?" asked a district office supervisor who has worked in the wage and hour division for nearly 20 years. "What's the rationale?"

~snip~

Wal-Mart has faced previous child labor charges. In March 2000, Maine fined the company $205,650 for violations of child labor laws in every one of the 20 stores in the state. In January 2004, a weeklong internal audit of 128 stores found 1,371 instances in which minors apparently worked too late at night, worked during school hours or worked too many hours in a day. Company officials said the audit was faulty and had incorrectly found that some youths had worked on school days when, in fact, those days were holidays.

~snip~

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/12/national/12wage.html
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pinniped Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 03:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. Repeat offenders. The fines should've been way higher.
.
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 04:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. That's a very small fine.
What could $135,540 mean to Wal-Mart? (Child exploitation.)
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 06:03 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. Maybe one day's sales at a medium-sized store
This is about like giving you or I a five-dollar ticket for holding up a bank.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-13-05 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
16. Absolutely. eom
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98geoduck Donating Member (590 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-13-05 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
17. How about "three strikes, you're out"
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VaLabor Donating Member (594 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 03:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. get a load of this
EXCERPT: Under the new agreement, the Labor Department did not waive its right to conduct future investigations. Still, several department officials suggested that the provision for 15 days' notice might give Wal-Mart an opportunity to hide violations.

John R. Fraser, the government's top wage official under the first President Bush and President Bill Clinton, said the advance-notice provision was unusually expansive.

"Giving the company 15 days' notice of any investigation is very unusual," Mr. Fraser said. "The language appears to go beyond child labor allegations and cover all wage and hour allegations. It appears to put Wal-Mart in a privileged position that to my knowledge no other employer has."


Let me get this straight -- the Labor Department is giving Wal-Mart a 15-day heads-up on any violations before it investigates?

The Bush Administration in action!

Also - it looks like the Labor Department has kept this secret so far. So...did the Wal-Mart employees know that when they went to the Labor Department to complain about a labor violation, the Bush Labor Department was just sending those complaints to Wal-Mart headquarters. I mean, check this out:

Several federal employees voiced concern about a Jan. 10 e-mail message sent by the director of the Little Rock, Ark., office for the Labor Department's wage and hour division after the settlement was reached, that said, "Wage & Hour will not open an investigation of Wal-Mart without first notifying Wal-Mart's main office and allowing them an opportunity to look at the alleged violations and, if valid, correct the problem."



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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 03:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. Corporations should not be allowed to deny wrongdoing.
Period.
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Melynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 04:29 AM
Response to Original message
5. Wal-Mart is disgusting
I would never shop at Wal-Mart.

Did you hear the comments that Wal-Mart CEO, Lee Scott made yesterday? Scott said basically that Wal-Mart would never be union, Wal-Mart isn't going to increase pay or benefits for its employees and that Wal-Mart is going to keep expanding. So in other words, business as usual for the Bentonville Bully, public be damned.

I think a large segment of the public is getting fed up with Wal-Mart's business practices and sooner or later that will impact on Wal-Mart's sales and profits.
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plasticwidow Donating Member (49 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 05:08 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Enron - Chaney - Bush - WalMart -Social Security - Welfare
And the list goes on and on...

Sure, a large segment of the public is getting fed up, and people are protesting the war, and employees are reporting violations to the government, planes are hijacked by our own government, and the conspiracy just goes on and on. But, what are we really doing about it? Nothing. We let the Bush Administration "fix" votes, let the Bush Administration continue to look for WMD and start/continue the war effort, our soldiers get slaughtered, widows and families cry, and basically the American public feels sorry for itself and bemoans all of the injustices, lies and unfairness. But what is the public DOING about it? They still vote for the same old things, and go along their merry way, comfortable. Keep the public uneducated, poor and fearful. Gee ... wonder where we've heard this before?

Just ranting, sorry. :kick:
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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 05:13 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. But...
How do you REALLY feel about it? :P

But, remember, in the mindset of a little over half of the country, it is far better to let our children continue to die to make a few richer than to allow the gay folks next door to get married.

That's why we are where we are. Stupidity.

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plasticwidow Donating Member (49 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 05:20 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. and ....
laziness!!! stupidity, laziness, and not wanting to "bother" to make a real effort to taking care of this. What is it going to take for the American people to take back our country???? Are we going to have to become like Iran? Where we have to have guerilla efforts by a few inidividuals willing to fight for our country? Whether these tactics are right or wrong, we've let our country de-evolve and become what we used to despise and hate in other countries in the past. We "have become" what we used to fight against. And the American people are not doing anything, except writing letters, protesting with posters. We've let it all go way too far, and each minute, day, week, its going to get harder and harder. Look what we're letting Wal-Mart do... look around you people. The words just aren't doing anything anymore. Its going to take more than just complaining and writing letters, its going to take more than just voting out our elected officials, because its going to just create an opening for another "hopeful" who is going to buy into the system. Look at Colin Powell, he bought into it all eventually. We either shut up because of either threats or being bought off, or we buy into the system. Face it people, we're lazy. We have to get off our ... and do something about it. And its going to have to be something radical, and severe.

Ok, enough of my rant. :spank:
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Melynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 05:38 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Welcome to DU
From one newbie to another. Maybe participating on DU will make you feel better. :hi:
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MSgt213 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. I have said this before. We need leaders that are willing to risk it all.
Remember MLK saying "I might not get there with you." Some people have taken this to mean that MLK knew he was going to be killed. I think personally that he did. He just didn't know how or when. But he knew he was putting his life on the line at every march or demostration, risking harm by and at the mercy of police officers who could very well take his life if they lost complete control while handling him.

My main point is we need leaders and followers who are willing to risk jail and loss of their policitical career, but feel speaking out and protesting wrongs visited on this countries citizens is much more important. We not in a position to lead need to support our leaders by bailing them out of jail and not being afraid to stand up for ourselves.

It was really sad hearing the Walmart worker crying about the lost of her job when Walmart said it would close the store before it allow a union in to protect the rights of workers. But the saddest part was hearing her say "But I didn't vote for or support the union and I'm losing my job anyway." Well no kidding. Corporate America no longer cares are you lady. Corporate America bans together to protect their interests and denys you the same opportunity and she honestly thought she should cast her lot with them over the union and some how she would survive.
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coreystone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 05:21 AM
Response to Original message
9. Federal Labor Department action for repetitive violations, and the ...
upcoming law regarding "class action" torts are most accomodating at the FEDERAL level!

:(

"Wal-Mart Stores, the nation's largest retailer, has agreed to pay $135,540 to settle federal charges that it violated child labor laws in Connecticut, Arkansas and New Hampshire.

Labor Department officials said most of the 24 violations covered by the settlement involved workers under age 18 operating dangerous machinery, including cardboard balers and chain saws. In the agreement, Wal-Mart denied any wrongdoing."


<snip
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
12. I truly believe the B*sh mafia is planning to regress to the 18 hundreds
Where child labor is what this country ran on. The Repukes truly believe that the poor should start using their greatest asset - their children. Once they receive economic benefit from their five and six year olds, they will be on their way to lower middle class.

The bankruptcy bill should also include provisions for Debtor's Prison and Workhouses.

Already in California farm workers, with a fifty percent unemployment rate, are making the same wages as in Mexico. The race to the bottom is coming fast.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
13. Bye bye mon cowboy - bye bye mon rodeo!
This is the title to a very cheesy French Canadian pop song by Mitsou. translation - bye bye my cowboy bye bye my rodeo

In honor of the store Wal Mart closed in Quebec, I will post this song title every time I see the word Wal Mart.
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Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-12-05 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
15. it would be nice if they got nailed for Maine as well, being I was a
victim of it when I was in HS working for WM.
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