Wal-Mart is one of the biggest sellers of products produced by prison labor in the United States alongside corporations including Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Whole Foods. From produce to furniture, prisoners are forced to work without choice for a few cents, or in some cases nothing at all. This kind of forced labor has a name – SLAVERY.
This form of slavery in the U.S. extends from early practices of slavery re-branded and made legal in the 13th amendment to the Constitution. Companies like Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and others take advantage of slave laborers to produce many of their products and why wouldn’t they? Instead of paying the costs for employees, they can pass off the bill to the tax payers and reap all of the profit, putting none of it back into helping pay the operating costs of the prison facilities.
With most states having an inmate minimum wage of only a few cents per hour and some having none at all, inmate workers are left with little to nothing to survive on while still having to pay for many of their daily items ranging from hygiene products to cigarettes and snacks.
Who does this help? Certainly not the prisoners who receive no rehabilitation via forced labor. Certainly not the tax payers who see no reduction in prison operation costs which are paid through their tax funds. No, this only benefits corporate players who wish to skirt the costs of paying employees by forcing them into slavery.
And prisoners have had enough! They are calling for a prison labor strike starting on September 9th in which they will refuse to work until their demands for better working and living conditions are met!