Walmart Inc

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The largest retailer in the world. It sells products that are made using prison labor.

Walmart Inc., headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, is the largest retailer in the world, with more than 10,500 stores in 20 countries. In 2023, the company employed approximately 2.1 million people and generated $611.3 billion in revenue.

Walmart purchases food products from suppliers that source from prison labor programs. For example, cattle rised by people incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola)—a maximum-security prison located on the grounds of a former slave plantation—are processed at a slaughterhouse in Texas that supplies Walmart, Cargill, McDonald's, and other companies. People incarcerated at Angola allege that they are forced to work for little to no pay, often under threat by armed guards and in unsafe conditions.

Walmart also sells eggs produced by Hickman's Family Farms, a private, Arizona-based egg company that has used prison labor for decades. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, some 140 individuals incarcerated in Arizona were moved from their prison to a Hickman's warehouse, where they worked for less than $3 an hour for 14 months. Hickman's has faced numerous lawsuits alleging that unsafe working conditions at its production facilities have led to incarcerated workers sustaining serious injuries.

In 2020, Walmart responded to public criticism over its ties to prison labor and disclosed that a "small number" of its U.S. suppliers use "voluntary" prison labor. The company stated that it would review its policies on the use of prison labor in its supply chain but has not made any public disclosures on the matter since. Walmart's 2023 Code of Conduct prohibits the use of forced labor in its supply chain but does not bar the use of prison labor.

Walmart's current policies represent a step back from its previous prison labor policies, which, as of 2014, stated, "Forced or prison labor will not be tolerated by Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart will not accept products from Vendor Partners who utilize in any manner forced labor or prison labor in the manufacture or in their contracting, subcontracting or other relationships for the manufacture of their products." Allegations of Walmart's ties to forced and prison labor date back to the late 1990s.

Unless specified otherwise, the information in this page is valid as of
8 February 2024