“This is yet another move from Walmart to try to bend the law to its liking. Walmart has made it a practice to pursue over-the-top legal maneuvers to try to avoid hearing the real concerns of workers and community members,” said Derrick Plummer, spokesman for the organizer, Making Change at Walmart, in a statement.
OUR Walmart announced that Black Friday protests are scheduled in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Miami, Chicago; Seattle, Washington (DC), Minneapolis and Sacramento, and the group calls it the “largest mobilization of working families in recent history.”
“Workers are calling for an end to illegal retaliation, and for Walmart to publicly commit to improving labor standards, such as providing workers with more full time work and $25,000 a year. As the country’s largest retailer and employer, Walmart makes more than $17 billion in profits, with the wealth of the Walton family totaling over $144.7 billion—equal to that of 42% of Americans,” the group said in a statement.
Anthony Goytia, a part-time worker who stocks shelves during the overnight shift, says he isn’t protesting because he hates Walmart.
“I actually do like my job. It’s fast-paced, and time goes by quick,” he said. “But last year I made $12,000. I’m a husband. I have four kids. It’s not enough. I’m living in poverty.”
Goytia is a member of Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), which is backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers union. He has taken part in several protests for better wages and working conditions at the store, including one in early November, when fifty-four people were arrested during protests at a new Walmart store in Los Angeles.
But worker actions against Walmart aren’t isolated to Black Friday. On Monday, Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) joined Walmart workers in Minnesota who walked off the job, and in Los Angeles, workers went on a two-day strike that culminated in the largest-ever act of civil disobedience against Walmart. Last week, workers in Seattle, Chicago, Ohio and Dallas joined them in walking off their jobs.Additionally, Walmart workers at three Washington, DC, area stores went on strike Tuesday, calling on the company to end its illegal retaliation against workers, and calling for better wages and full-time work.
“I’m speaking out today because Walmart can afford to do better by its workers,” said striking worker Tiffany Beroid. “We want to work full time, and earn above the poverty level. And we are taking action today because Walmart needs to publicly commit to ending illegal retaliation against workers and better wages.”
In fact, the resistance against Walmart’s low wages never really went away. Workers have continually organized, fought for higher wages, and engaged in creative civil disobedience. For example, these workers led a flashmob back in September at a Raleigh, North Carolina Walmart store:
Since June, Walmart has illegally disciplined more than eighty workers, including firing twenty worker-leaders, and more than 100 Unfair Labor Practice charges have been filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the company. Recently, the NLRB regional office announced it found merit to OUR Walmart’s charge, and found Walmart committed eleven violations of national labor law.
At a time when workers are struggling to survive on low wages, activists expressed outrage at the retirement pension of Walmart CEO Mike Duke, which at $113 million, is more than 6,200 times greater than the average worker’s pay.
“Walmart should be ashamed of the vast labor mismanagement under CEO Mike Duke. From the low wages at Walmart stores to dangerous working conditions in warehouses and the inexcusable safety conditions in factories in Bangladesh and other countries, as the world’s largest employer, Walmart can and should do better to create good jobs and safe working conditions,” Sarita Gupta, executive director of Jobs with Justice, said in a statement.
Following the announcement that Doug McMillon will succeed Duke as CEO, Beroid said the change of leadership is “a testament to the pressure the company is feeling that they’re changing leadership at this moment.”
“We’re happy to see Mr. McMillon acknowledge the hard work of associates in his statement this morning, and we hope that this appreciation translates into improving jobs for Walmart workers. Americans nationwide are looking to Walmart to improve jobs and strengthen our economy, and Mr. McMillon has an opportunity to be a leader in moving Walmart in the right direction, not just in offering more empty promises. We sincerely hope that Mr. McMillon will answer the country’s calls for Walmart to publicly commit to paying $25,000 a year, providing full-time work and ending its illegal retaliation against its own employees.”
Give at those wages you get many that do not want to have a protest.
That is understandable when you live in a red state that likes to take away your rights.
That makes a bad foundation for any action as there is no real safety net for it.
But will a Walkout do any good? Well yes if many cashiers walkout!
Overnight workers? Sort of, being most Walmarts have a hard time
getting workers that can pass the background checks!
It would take too long to get replacement workers, other than temps etc.
And if there are not many jobs, as in small towns where only a handfull get
the good jobs because of who they know the rest are out in the woods stuck
in the mud!
Also noted is many places are hiring felons now, I am not sure if
Walmart will follow, but it points to some bad to the cashiers job
for shoppers! Felons need jobs also, but it's the fact of where
they get put. More likely its not a cashier job!
But the point is that a cashier walkout would be effective,
only if there is a safety net out there for you!
Otherwise don't jump! Go for option 2! Show everyone you
work at Walmart! Get out in town looking bad, poor etc!
Kind of like the "Poor Peoples Campaign" but in your town with no real protest.
Just make your town look bad with low pay!
If your Walmart in your town is low pay you have
power to take action! As a shopper you don't
have to just sit there and let the Walmart
cost you more in feeding it's workers where
Walmart should be doing that!
Really, when you think about it, one Walmart
makes around $100,000 in one day and
what is their labor cost etc for a day?
Or if your Walmart in town gets a subsity?
What can you do? You can call 1800-WALMART & let them know you stand
by the workers, want better pay!
Print the Berkeley Walmart research on wages & mail it to
Walmart corp. And give one to the Walmart manager in your towns Walmart.
With a note I want to see this at Walmart.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
702 SW 8th St.
Bentonville, AR 72716
AR Tel. 479-273-4000
State the same things on their website, under "Community & Giving"
Tell them to give their workers better pay!
Make the Call!