According to the Organization United for Respect at Walmart, 1,000 protests occurred at Walmart stores across 46 states, with hundreds of workers walking off the job in an unprecedented decentralized, open-source strike at the retail giant. Nine people, including three Walmart workers, were arrested in Los Angeles for blocking traffic. Local Occupy groups supported actions in dozens of cities. OWS joined with 99 Pickets, ALIGN, the Retail Action Project, and others to show solidarity to Walmart workers in Secaucus, New Jersey. Despite attempts by Walmart's propaganda department to downplay the events, the latest massive wave of strikes and solidarity actions at Walmart forced even the corporate media to pay attention, and put the 1% on notice: When we work together, another world is possible. We do not have to accept poverty, low wages, or unfair working conditions with no benefits while six members of the Walton family are worth more than the bottom 42% of American families combined.
However, the struggle is far from over! Today's inspiring actions point the way forward. Please continue to support OUR Walmart and all low-wage workers in the struggle for economic justice and show support for the courageous workers and unemployed people on the frontlines against income inequality.
Picket line happening right now in Miami! -- other actions, including walk-outs, have already begun in Ohio, California, Maryland, New York, Florida, Texas, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Dakota, Alabama, and growing as of 11pm Eastern time! See below for info on following live updates
We are reaching out to you today to see if you would consider supporting the Walmart workers who are being unfairly fired for organizing their peers.
Why should I support the workers?
Getting fired for demonstrating is a scary thing. We at the Occupy Solidarity Network would like to help alleviate that worry for anyone who is fired in retribution for organizing or demonstrating at Walmart. Walmart workers decided in October 2012 to strike on Black Friday after they were targeted for retaliation for speaking out against substandard work conditions and treatment in the first ever walk out in the history of the company. Now we are looking at a world in which the bravest workers of Walmart are being fired so they may be silenced.
We will support the workers participating in organizing efforts and nonviolent demonstrations in support of the fight for economic civil rights of the Walmart worker effort. Money raised will go towards paying stipends and living expenses for workers fired for organizing and participating in acts of peaceful civil disobedience.
[This quote is] relevant to an argument I just had about “disruptive” protest at Walmart in supposed solidarity with the Black Friday strikes. Picket, protest, march and rally all you want, hold a sit-in, but please, before you do things like deliberately create a mess in the store or leave a full cart in the checkout line, consider who’s going to have to clean up the mess that you make. It’s not going to be Rob Walton or any of the other multibillionaires. It won’t even be the assistant manager. It’ll be the same low-wage worker who maybe wanted to go on strike but wasn’t quite convinced, or who was threatened by their boss, who’s working an extra-long shift on the worst shopping day of the year.
Solidarity doesn’t mean you decide for yourself what is best for the workers. It means showing up in the ways they need and want you to and letting them decide how to build worker power.
We ask you to reflect on the statement issued by workers and Making Change at Walmart as you plan your Black Friday solidarity action:
Across the country, Walmart employs 1.4 million people. We are not just the Associates that you see in stores, we are moms and dads, sons and daughters, husbands and wives working hard to support our families.
We have been speaking out for good jobs with decent pay, regular hours, affordable healthcare and respect, but instead of working with us to make changes, Walmart has attempted to silence us and has retaliated against us for speaking out. Our jobs have been threatened, our hours cut, our schedules changed. Some of us have even been fired.
We will not be silenced. Throughout the holiday season, including Black Friday, we will be standing up for an end to the retaliation against workers who speak out for what’s right for our families, our communities and our country, and we hope that you will stand with us. It is not an easy decision, but without an end to the retaliation, Walmart workers across the country will be walking off the job in protest, and we hope you will join us in creative, non-violent action in solidarity with our strike. We ask that supporters take action that spreads the word about our strikes and demonstrates to Walmart a wave of support for workers who are speaking out.
Together, we are calling on Walmart to end the retaliation against hard-working employees who are courageously speaking out for better pay, fair schedules and more hours, affordable health care and respect.
We will not be silenced until we see real change at Walmart.
It's time to take a stand and support the workers who are standing up to live better through an unfair labor practice strike.
Walmart workers decided to strike on Black Friday after they were targeted for retaliation for speaking out about substandard work conditions and treatment last month in the first ever walk out in the history of the company.
We ask you to help us feed the workers who will walk out on the company next week on the biggest shopping day of the year.
The workers are demanding the following from Walmart:
Improve Workers’ Lives
Pay a minimum of $25,000/year and guarantee quality, affordable health coverage for all Walmart associates and workers in the company’s US distribution chain.
Sign on to a national community benefits agreement that ensures as Walmart expands into new markets, it strengthens communities, protects the environment and is responsible for the well-being of its employees in its retail stores and US supply and distribution chain.
Put Its Promises in Writing
Agree to a global labor agreement guaranteeing the fundamental human right of freedom of association for all of its associates and instruct their suppliers to do the same, and recognize and negotiate with OUR Walmart.
Elevate Global Living Standards
Establish a legally binding global responsible contractor policy requiring contractors and subcontractors to provide living wages, worker safety protections, and respect basic human and labor rights, including freedom of association and freedom from racial and gender discrimination.
How can I support in other ways?
You can join solidarity actions throughout the United States. Find out which solidarity actions are being organized and the store employees that are participating by going to the Corporate Action Network event page.
“The only thing workers have to bargain with is their skill or their labor. Denied the right to withhold it as a last resort, they become powerless. The strike is therefore not a breakdown of collective bargaining-it is the indispensable cornerstone of that process." -- Paul Clark