business news in context, analysis with attitude

• Wal-Mart announced on Friday that it will not sue the city of Tucson, Arizona, to force a referendum on the city’s big box retailer restrictions that limit food and beverage sales to no more than 10 percent of a store’s total space. The Arizona Daily Star reports that a Wal-Mart representative said that a lawsuit wasn’t “the right alternative.”

Apparently, Wal-Mart believes that it has enough support that the mayor and city council may be forced to reconsider their positions if they want to be re-elected to office. Supporters of the ordinance, however, say that Wal-Mart knew it would lose a court battle and decided not to go in that direction.

• Reports out of the UK say that Wal-Mart-owned Asda Group has opened an investigation into charges – published by the Guardian newspaper there – that its clothing production facility in Bangladesh was guilty of human rights abuses, including forcing workers to labor for as many as 84 hours a week for low wages and in questionable conditions.
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