A bid to use the American legal system to hold Wal-Mart accountable for alleged abuses at its suppliers’ factories overseas is faltering after a federal judge indicated he is inclined to dismiss the case.
Judge Andrew Guilford issued a tentative ruling yesterday that would dismiss a wide-ranging lawsuit filed against the retail giant last year on behalf of workers at factories in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Nicaragua, and Swaziland.
The suit alleges that the facilities failed to pay minimum wage, forced overtime work on unwilling employees, and blocked workers from organizing unions.
The attorney for the workers, Terry Collingsworth, argued that the foreign workers had no realistic prospect of suing in their own countries. “They don’t have adequate access to courts there,” he said. “This is their sole place to try to be heard.”
This is an extremely interesting and important case in legal and labor history, if the decision continues to look this bleak, Wal-Mart cannot be reprimanded for mistreating workers in other countries. What we cannot grasp is why, Why Wal-Mart even mistreats workers, the 300 plus billion dollar company should be more ethical and responsible and should see no problem with paying their workers a living wage and quality benefits.