In the past, Wal-Mart has been criticized for labor violations in their factories in China. Starting in October, Wal-Mart has started to have problems with workers here in the United States. Workers in the retail stores and in warehouses associated with Wal-Mart have gone on strike earlier this month to improve their rights as Wal-Mart employees.
The warehouse workers are employed by a company called NFI. NFI was fined by OSHA in January after receiving 64 citations including lack of heat illness prevention programs and lack of personal protection equipment. The employees also claim that the temperature in the warehouse is known to exceed 110 degrees, that the workers do not have access to clean drinking water, and that they are only paid $8.50 an hour which is not enough to live on. The employees are calling on Wal-Mart to take responsibility to ensure that their requests are met. See here for more information.
Additionally, retail workers in Dallas, Miami, Sacramento, Chicago, Washington, and Orlando went on strike. The workers who are mostly members a worker led organization called OUR Walmart are asking the company to increase their pay and to address understaffing problems that stop employees from getting enough hours and that are causing problems for customer service. See here for more information.
Though Wal-Mart offers cheaper goods the workers are paying the price by not earning a livable wage and being subjected to unfavorable working conditions.