Walmart Associates and allies applaud California Plaintiffs in Dukes v. Wal-Mart as they continue to fight for justice for women workers

CONTACT: Janna Pea
202-412-5362
jpea@ufcw.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 27, 2011

Walmart Associates and allies applaud California Plaintiffs in Dukes v. Wal-Mart as they continue to fight for justice for women workers

(Washington, D.C., October 27, 2011)—Today, the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) and its allies, including Making Change at Walmart and the National Organization for Women (NOW), stand in support of the California Plaintiffs in the Dukes v. Wal-mart class action lawsuit who filed an amended complaint in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. OUR Walmart is an association of current and former Walmart Associates standing together to improve their work environments and their lives.

The amended action filed today seeks an end to Walmart’s alleged discriminatory practices regarding pay and promotion of female employees in its California Regions and relief and punitive damages for the Plaintiffs in the class.

“Seeing the women in this case continue to fight for fairness is commendable and I am pleased to know that they are not giving up,” said Maggie Van Ness, a Walmart Associate from Lancaster, California and a member of OUR Walmart. “As a Walmart associate in California, I am especially pleased to stand with the Plaintiffs in demanding equal rights at the largest private employer in the United States.”

“These women have legitimate cases challenging Walmart’s discriminatory practices and the company needs to be held accountable for their unfair treatment of women,” said National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill. “We support the women of Walmart and will continue to stand by their efforts to fight until justice is served.”

Last month, members of OUR Walmart joined national women’s advocacy organizations who have joined in an allied campaign—Making Change at Walmart—to call on Walmart to adopt policy recommendations to improve working conditions for women employed by Walmart. Together, these women’s groups have sent an open letter to CEO Mike Duke that calls on the company to meet with OUR Walmart representatives and their allies to discuss their concerns. Specific recommendations of the groups focus on how Walmart can improve its pay; system of resolution for employees’ concerns; scheduling practices; systems for promotions; and sick, vacation and family leave policies.

“There are many avenues to justice for women at Walmart,” said Jennifer Stapleton, Assistant Director of Making Change at Walmart. “One is legal and we are glad to stand with the Dukes plaintiffs as they continue that case. Another option is for workers and communities to stand together and demand change from the company. That’s the option we are pursuing. We are all in this together and we want Walmart to treat its female employees with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

Additional supporting organizations that have joined Making Change at Walmart include 9 to 5: National Association of Working Women, Family Values @ Work, Labor Project for Working Families, National Congress of Black Women, National Partnership for Women & Families and the United Food and Commercial Workers Women’s Network.

For information about the partnership between OUR Walmart and national women’s advocacy groups, visit http://makingchangeatwalmart.org/2011/10/05/national-womens-groups/.

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Making Change at Walmart, is a movement of union members, elected officials, minority coalitions, religious leaders, small business owners and community allies seeking respect for Walmart Associates at work and jobs that strengthen our communities and our nation. The campaign is making change by working directly with Walmart Associates to claim the respect on the job they deserve, holding Walmart corporate managers accountable to hourly employees and the public for their practices and joining with community leaders in major cities across America to make sure that any new jobs offered by Walmart meet strong standards for healthy, growing communities.