Activist Wednesday: How Black Will Wal-Mart’s Friday Be?
Posted November 21, 2012on:
Here at TW, we’ve done a few pieces on Wal-Mart. The company’s practices are the epitome of soulless corporate greed: they practice pay sexism, they don’t give their employees lunch breaks, they force them to work overtime, and they ensure that they manipulate the laws so that their employees don’t get health insurance or other important benefits.
Well, it looks like the last straw was trying to make them work on Thanksgiving, a time when they should be with their families instead of slaving away for The Man. The workers of Wal-Mart decided to strike. If you can’t form a union officially, then unite!
As Black Friday nears, Walmart workers and community supporters are beginning 1,000 nationwide non-violent protests leading up to and on Black Friday, including strikes, rallies, flash mobs, direct action and other efforts to inform customers about the illegal actions that Walmart has been taking against its workers. As part of the protests, Walmart workers walked off the job Tuesday morning in Pico Rivera, just outside Los Angeles, in protest against the company’s attempts to silence workers who speak out for better jobs. In October, the workers in Pico Rivera were the first group of Walmart associates to go on strike in the company’s history.
The actions are going on, rolling throughout the country, from California to DC. All the workers are asking for is a fair shake and a chance to support themselves by earning a living wage. Turns out, Wal-Mart could make small changes that would have a very big effect on both its employees, and the economy.
As workers and community supporters call for changes at Walmart, a new report from the national public policy center Demos, shows that better jobs at Walmart and other large retailers would have an impact on our economy. A wage floor equivalent of $25,000 per year for a full-time, year-round employee for retailers with more than 1000 employees would lift 1.5 million retail workers and their families out of poverty or near poverty, add to economic growth, increase retail sales and create over 100,000 new jobs. The findings in the study prove there is a flaw in the conventional thinking by companies like Walmart that profits, low prices and decent wages cannot co-exist.
It’s not as though the low wages are increasing company profits exponentially. In fact, it’s not keeping up with other retailers like Target, and it’s underperforming industry expectations. But that doesn’t keep the company’s owners, the Walton family, from raking in the big bucks. Christy Walton and her family are worth tens of billions of dollars. It’s truly disgusting, the way these shameless, worthless excuses for human beings keep their employees in poverty and misery, while they rake in more money than they could possibly spend. In fact, they’re so rich that their combined wealth is greater than the bottom 42% of Americans. This massive bounty is shared amongst only six people!
What’s going to happen on Black Friday if the workers don’t come in? I don’t know, but I am so proud of these brave people who are standing up for their rights, despite Wal-Mart’s attempts to silence them. And if you want to support them too, you can go here:
This is an open thread.
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