MIRA LOMA, Calif. – Lawyers alleging that a Southern California warehouse complex cheated mostly Latino contract workers out of pay took steps Friday to add Wal-Mart as a defendant in an ongoing lawsuit.
The move is expected to draw the nation’s largest retailer into a case in which it had, heretofore, been tangentially involved – and raises questions about the human cost of Wal-Mart’s tightly-controlled supply chain, which relies heavily on contractors and subcontractors.
“Walmart employs a network of contractors and subcontractors who have habitually broken the law to keep their labor costs low and profit margins high,” Michael Rubin, one of the lawyers for the workers, contended in a written statement to the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Investigative Reporting. “We believe Walmart knows exactly what is happening and is ultimately responsible for stealing millions of dollars from the low-wage warehouse workers who move Walmart merchandise.”
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