On Wednesday concerned consumers visited an estimated sixty Walmart stores in the US, Canada and the UK to call on the mega-retailer to help free Bangladeshi labor leaders Kalpona Akter and Babul Akhter.
This comes in the wake of thousands of emails that people from around the world have sent to the chain store. Consider sending an email today if you haven't already.
Called for by SweatFree Communities, a campaign of the International Labor Rights Forum, these actions are part of a growing international campaign that is putting pressure on the Bangladeshi government and two factory conglomerates, Nassa Group and Envoy Group, to release the two unjustly imprisoned labor leaders, drop all charges against them, and restore the non-governmental organization status of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity. You can learn more here.
Some of us spoke to store managers who were sympathetic, curious to learn where Bangladesh is on the map, and shocked to find out about the country's abysmally low wages. At some stores activists flyered for nearly an hour until leaflets ran out, without any bother from security, whereas at other stores activists were asked to leave after ten minutes.
One activist was out almost til midnight visiting three stores.
The actions had an impact and Walmart heard our voices. A representative from Walmart called our office wanting to discuss the matter further. We will continue to bring our message to Walmart until the retailer agrees to suspend its business with Nassa and Envoy so long as these conglomerates remain behind the charges against the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity.