Truth Tour Shines Light On Walmart Worker Conditions

Aricka Flowers
Progress Illinois

As Walmart looks to continue its expansion in Chicago, a worker truth tour makes a stop in Chicago to shed light on how the retailer treats some of its employees along various stops on the supply chain.


"I was complaining about roaches and the smell. But when I heard her story, I was like 'what am I complaining about?'" said Robert J. Hines, Jr., a former Walmart factory employee at yesterday's media event for the kick off of the "Sweatshop, Warehouse, Walmart: A Worker Truth Tour."

Hines was referring to fellow panelist Kalpona Akter, a former garment factory worker turned workers' rights advocate who helped launch the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity. In exchange for her fight to ensure that workers who subcontracted with Walmart received fair wages and reasonable working conditions, Akter says she was arrested, relentlessly questioned, tortured and imprisoned for 30 days last August and now faces life imprisonment or the death penalty. The Bangladesh government has filed seven charges against her, including encouraging workers to take part in an illegal strike and starting a riot. At the event, Akter detailed the events surrounding the day of her arrest...

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