Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wal-Mart launches probe into Chinese labor abuse allegations

By Chen Hong (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-11-27 07:54

United States retailing giant Wal-Mart yesterday launched its own investigation into the findings of a New-York based human rights group, which levied serious labor abuse allegations against the company after inspecting five of its supplier factories in China.

"We take such reports very seriously," a statement from Wal-Mart said.

"We will take prompt remedial action if our investigations confirm any of the alleged findings."

A China Labor Watch (CLW) report, which was made public on Wednesday, alleged that employees in a number of Chinese supplier factories of the US retailer have been forced to work up to 77 hours a week in "poor working conditions".

As the world's largest retailer, "Wal-Mart leverages its massive product orders to purchase goods at low prices, and the workers have to bear the financial burden", CLW said in a statement.

Good workers get an annual bonus of no more than 100 yuan, the report said.

Li Qiang, the founder and executive director of CLW who has been looking into Wal-Mart's practices for nearly a decade, said the retailing giant "deserves moral condemnation at a time when Chinese workers cannot sue the company over poor work conditions".

Wal-Mart, which has more than 250 stores across China.

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