Wal-Mart Sweatshops Lawsuit Filed

Publication Date: 

September 1, 2005

Case Name: JANE DOE et al v. WAL-MART STORES, INC.

Plaintiffs: Workers from China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Swaziland, and Nicaragua who allege systematic deprivation of the rights assured in the Wal-Mart code of conduct.

Summary: In the most comprehensive legal campaign yet, a suit was filed in September 2005 on behalf of workers from four continents for massive, systematic wage and hour violations. Workers from China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Swaziland, and Nicaragua joined together to press their common class claims that Wal-Mart knowingly uses suppliers that systematically deprive workers of the basic provisions of Wal-Mart’s code of conduct, including fundamental protections of the labor laws in the countries where the workers reside. This case uses a new and innovative theory that Wal-Mart’s code of conduct created a contract, and the workers at the supplier factories are third party beneficiaries of the contract. The company’s dismissal motion was heard on December 4, 2006, and on March 30, 2007, Judge Guillford, a recent Bush appointee, dismissed the claims. We are in the process of filing an appeal.