In 15 cities today, Walmart workers and their supporters are staging their biggest day of action since the groundbreaking “Black Friday” strike in November. They are demanding that Walmart reinstate 20 workers they say were fired for taking part in a June strike, and they are calling on Walmart to end its poverty-level wage scale and pay a living wage.
In New York City this morning, Making Change at Walmart’s Facebook page reports several Walmart workers were arrested as they peacefully tried to deliver a petition with the demands to a member of the Walmart board of directors. Most actions are set for later today and this evening. Click here for a list with times and details.
In late August, the workers, members of OUR Walmart, gave the company a Labor Day deadline to act on their demands. Walmart ignored the deadline and, says Cindy Murray, a Walmart worker who was recently arrested for protesting at Walmart’s Washington, D.C., offices:
Walmart, we cannot wait any longer for you to do the right thing for American workers. Our jobs should not be at risk when we speak out about improvements that would help our families and Walmart customers.
Since Walmart workers began speaking out last fall through strikes and other actions spotlighting Walmart’s miserably low-wages, benefits, poor working conditions and, what they say is, abusive treatment by management, they’ve paid a price. Along with the 20 workers who lost their jobs, another more than 50 were disciplined after they took part in the June action.
Kim Bobo, executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), says:
As the nation’s largest employer, Walmart and the Walton family should be raising standards, not lowering them. To whom much is given, much is expected. Walmart should share its prosperity with workers and publicly commit to paying workers $25,000 a year for full-time work. If Walmart workers earned living wages, the entire economy would benefit.