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ITF calls on shipping companies to raise concerns with US retailer
22 November 2012
The ITF is urging shipping firms carrying cargo owned by US retail giant Walmart to raise concerns over its treatment of US warehouse workers and warning of impending industrial action at the company over the coming holiday period.
ITF inspectors have been visiting ships this week to ask captains and companies working with Walmart to raise concerns about the way in which it treats its US staff. They are likely to to embark on industrial action on 23 November in protest over poverty pay and the downgrading of working conditions.
The ITF move backs five US organisations campaigning for justice for Walmart workers: Making Change at Walmart; OUR Walmart; UNI Global Union Walmart Alliance; Warehouse Workers United and Warehouse Workers for Justice.
ITF acting general secretary Stephen Cotton commented: “Walmart is a major customer of the shipping industry, and we feel it is important that transport companies – with whom we strive to build the same kind of collaborative industrial relations we would like to see Walmart embrace – are aware of potential industrial disruption.”
He continued: “We are seriously concerned by Walmart’s attitudes towards its workers. It has been widely reported that workers in its warehouse and retail operations have been subject to firings, threats to terminate employment, and reduced hours.”
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