Congressman Blasts Labor Department Deal With Wal-Mart
WASHINGTON (February 18, 2005) - An agreement whereby the Department of Labor would notify Wal-Mart of potential labor violations before starting an investigation was blasted by U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.). He said it was a �sweetheart deal� that allows the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer to cover up violations and discourage employees from reporting them. Miller, the senior Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, called for an investigation of the compliance agreement, which was struck in January, but was not disclosed until a recent article in the New York Times. The DOL said it had similar agreements with other retailers, including Sears and Foot Locker. Nevertheless, Miller in a press release this week noted the agreement with Wal-Mart included more favorable terms, including a longer advance notice and broader coverage of the types of labor violations of which it would be informed.