The Local Union has issued a press release in response to the death of a Long-Island Wal-Mart worker. They are demanding Federal Safety Agency and Nassau County Prosecutor investigate this incident.
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, New York State’s largest grocery workers Union, has called for an immediate investigation by Federal, State and Local authorities into the “avoidable” death of a Wal-mart worker at the Valley Stream, Long Island Wal-mart. Specifically, the Union has called on the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the New York State Department of Labor and the Nassau County Prosecutor to investigate Wal-mart’s failure to provide a safe workplace.
“This incident was avoidable,” said Bruce Both, President of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500. “Where were the safety barriers? Where was security? How did store management not see dangerous numbers of customers barreling down on the store in such an unsafe manner?” asked President Both. “This is not just tragic; it rises to a level of blatant irresponsibility by Wal-mart. UFCW Local 1500 will demand a full investigation by all levels of Government to ensure both justice for the surviving family members and to ensure the safety of current employees and the general public. This can never be allowed to happen again and those responsible must be held accountable,” Both concluded.
Director of Special Projects for Local 1500 Patrick Purcell called Wal-mart’s comments in response to the incident both “cold and heartless.” “If the safety of their customers and workers was a top priority, then this never would have happened,” Purcell stated. “Wal-mart must step up to the plate and ensure that all those injured, as well as the family of the deceased, be financially compensated for their injuries and their losses. Their words are weak. The community demands action,” Purcell concluded.
Purcell also suggested that people review other incidents of Wal-mart not providing a safe work and shopping experience. Link. They did a study and here are some of their findings:
1. Wal-Mart stores experience a significant number of police incidents. In 2004, police received 148, 331 calls for service for the 551 Wal-Mart stores analyzed;
2. The average number of reported incidents per store for the 551 stores analyzed was 269;
3. The Wal-Mart stores in our sample that reported the most incidents in 2004 experienced higher average rates of reported police incidents than nearby Target stores;
4. Based on the average rate of reported incidents for the 551 Wal-Mart stores analyzed in this study, we estimate that in 2004 police may have received almost 1 million calls for service at Wal-Mart stores or parking lots – or 2 reported police incidents per minute in 2004;
5. Nationally, Wal-Mart stores cost local taxpayers an estimated $77 million in increased policing costs in 2004;
6. Wal-Mart could implement roving security patrols at all stores nationwide at an estimated cost of 4 cents per monthly customer visit.