The first retail worker strike against Walmart has spread from Los Angeles, where it began last week, to stores in a dozen cities, a union official said Tuesday.
Walmart workers walked off the job in Dallas, Seattle, the San Francisco Bay area, Miami, the Washington, D.C., area, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Chicago and Orlando, said Dan Schlademan, director of the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Making Change At Walmart campaign. Workers also went on strike in parts of Kentucky, Missouri and Minnesota, he said.
Tuesday’s walkouts included 88 workers from 28 stores — a minuscule fraction of the 1.4 million who work at Walmart, the world’s largest private employer. Until Friday, when about 60 Walmart employees walked off the job for a day in LA, no Walmart retail workers had ever gone on strike, the union said.
The workers are protesting company attempts to “silence and retaliate against workers for speaking out for improvements on the job,” according to a United Food and Commercial Workers news release. Walmart workers, who are not unionized, have long complained of low pay and a lack of benefits.
Some striking Walmart associates plan to protest Wednesday at a Walmart annual investor meeting at its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., said a striking worker.
“I make $8.90 an hour and I’ve worked at Walmart for three years,” said Colby Harris, 22, of Dallas. “Everyone at my store lives from check to check and borrows money from each other just to make it through the week.”
The six heirs to Walmart founder Sam Walton, meanwhile, are worth $89.5 billion, or as much as the bottom 41.5 percent of Americans combined. Huffington Post
Walmart store associates from a dozen stores in the Los Angeles area took a historic action on October 4th by holding a one-day strike, demanding the right to speak out on the job. Peoplesworld.org
Protesting employees said those who bring concerns about working conditions to the attention of store management often face retaliation in the forms of hours cut, shift reassignment and even firings. Peoplesworld.org
The mass walkout was the first of its kind in the retail giant’s 50-year history. Peoplesworld.org