Wal-Mart—Global Human Rights Standards
Whereas, our company currently has extensive overseas operations, and
Whereas, reports of human rights abuses in the overseas subsidiaries and suppliers of some U.S. based corporations has led to an increased public awareness of the problems of child labor, "sweatshop conditions," and the denial of labor rights in US corporate overseas operations, and
Whereas, corporate violations of human rights in these overseas operations can lead to negative publicity, public protests, and a loss of consumer confidence which can have a negative impact on shareholder value, and
Whereas, a number of corporations have implemented independent monitoring programs with respected human rights and religious organizations to strengthen compliance with international human rights norms in subsidiary and supplier factories, and
Whereas, these standards incorporate the conventions of the United Nations’ International Labor Organization (ILO) on workplace human rights which include the following principles:
- All workers have the right to form and join trade unions and to bargain collectively. (ILO Conventions 87 and 98)
- Workers’ representatives shall not be the subject of discrimination and shall have access to all workplaces necessary to enable them to carry out their representation functions (ILO Convention 135)
- There shall be no discrimination or intimidation in employment. Equality of opportunity and treatment shall be provided regardless of race, color, sex, religion, political opinion, age, nationality, social origin, or other distinguishing characteristics. (ILO Convention 100 & 111)
- Employment shall be freely chosen. There shall be no use of force, including bonded or prison labor. (ILO Conventions 29 and 105
- There shall be no use of child labor. (ILO Convention 138) and,
Whereas, independent monitoring of corporate adherence to these standards is essential if consumer and investor confidence in our company’s commitment to human rights is to be maintained,
Therefore, be it resolved that the company commit itself to the implementation of a code of corporate conduct based on the aforementioned ILO human rights standards by its international suppliers and in its own international production facilities and commit to a program of outside, independent monitoring of compliance with these standards.
Note: The resolution failed to pass, but received an affirmative vote of 3.8%, enough for the resolution to be on the agenda again at next year's annual meeting, for another vote.
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Last updated on Friday, June 17, 2011.
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