Compare that to the corporation’s $469.2 million in annual revenue and its CEO’s $20.7 million salary.
Walmart safety violations led to a $190,000 settlement between the big box retail corporation and the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) over violations at stores in New York and eight other states across the U.S.
Specific violations targeted included those related to blocked exits, a lack of training for hazardous material handling, a lack of eye and face protection and trash compacting practices that potentially harm employees.
“Walmart’s negligence in managing hazardous chemicals is yet another illustration of its disregard for the environment and the health of workers and communities,” Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher at the Institute for Local Self Reliance, said in a United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) press release.
While the fine was initially imposed at $365,500, Wal-Mart whittled it down to $190,000, with the condition that it institute safety and health changes at 2,800 of the chain’s retail outlets.
“This settlement will help to keep thousands of exposed Walmart workers safe and healthy on the job,” OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels told The Guardian. “We hope this sends a strong message that requires employers to provide safe working conditions, and OSHA will use all the tools at our disposal to ensure that all employers follow the law.”
Plans are being made to correct violations, yet Walmart workers aren’t yet convinced it will happen.
OUR Walmart, comprised of Walmart workers who are aligned with United Food and Commercial Workers union, stated they have been complaining about such violations for years, without appropriate corporate response.
“The problems detailed in the settlement are issues we have been raising for years, but it’s clear that the company has consistently failed to listen to our concerns, let alone address them,” an OUR Walmart press release stated. “This is just the latest indication of Walmart’s malfeasance throughout the supply chain, and these serious problems represent a major danger to workers, the environment and the company’s future.”
At the time the fine was issued, in February 2012, Wal-Mart had 15 business days to correct or protest the violations, according to an OSHA press release. Six months later, the company paid the compromised $190,000.
The last OSHA fine Wal-Mart faced was in 2012 when it was ordered to pay $52,600 for violations at a New York Walmart Super Center. Reasons for the fine included blocking of exits and lack of access to fire extinguishers.
“The recurring nature of these hazards is disturbing and needs to be effectively addressed,” OSHA’s area director in Albany said of the violations at the time, according to an OSHA press release.