December 20, 2006
[NOTE: MSN is no longer requesting responses to this Urgent Action Alert]
Three months after receiving reports of serious worker rights abuses and police violence against protesting workers at its Chong Won Fashion supply factory in the Philippines, Wal-Mart is still delaying taking the necessary steps to fix the problem.
As the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) prepares to release a public report on the findings of its investigation into the alleged abuses, Wal-Mart has announced it is contracting the US monitoring organization Verité to do yet another third-party investigation, which, conveniently, would not be completed until the end of the holiday shopping season. The factory had been audited twice previously, once by a commercial auditing firm and the second time by the company's own compliance staff shortly after MSN and the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) brought the violations to the company's attention. To date, Wal-Mart has not reported on the findings of those investigations.
According to the Philippine Workers' Assistance Center (WAC), there is already sufficient evidence that Chong Won management has harassed and discriminated against union members, pressured workers to sign statements against the union, illegally fired two union leaders, issued dismissal letters to 116 union members involved in a legal strike, and called in the police to escort scabs into the factory, which resulted in police assaults on the strikers.
The police assaults against the strikers took place at a time of growing repression and extra-judicial killings of union leaders and human rights activists in Cavite Province, including the murder of WAC's chairperson, Bishop Alberto Ramento, and Solidarity of Cavite Workers leader, Jesus Buth Servida.
Please write Wal-Mart today, urging the company to stop delaying and bring appropriate pressure on its supplier to reinstate the illegally fired workers, enter into good faith negotiations with the union for a first collective agreement, and cease all anti-union harassment and discrimination.