Confined Space
News and Commentary on Workplace Health & Safety, Labor and Politics

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Good Riddance: Wal-Mart - Labor Dept. Sweetheart Deal Lapses

Remember the sweetheart deal between the Bush Administration and Wal-Mart Stores?

After Wal-Mart was found to have violated child labor laws in Connecticut, Arkansas and New Hampshire, a secret agreeement between the giant retailer and the Labor Department agreed "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." The agreement was later criticized by the Labor Department's Inspector General report which concluded that the Labor Department had entered “into an agreement that gave significant concessions to Wal-Mart…in exchange for little commitment from the employer beyond what it was already doing or required to do by law.”

Well, the agreement has been allowed to lapse.

According to Miller:
“The Bush Administration made a sweetheart deal with Wal-Mart that put workers’ lives and livelihoods at risk,” said Miller, the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “Because of the public scrutiny and controversy surrounding this agreement, the Bush Administration had no choice but to let it expire last week. That’s welcome news for Wal-Mart workers, who never should have had to put up with this in the first place.”
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