Five people were arrested earlier today at Yahoo! headquarters when illegally-fired OUR Walmart members and their supporters occupied Yahoo!’s lobby, protesting Yahoo! CEO and Walmart director Marissa Mayer’s continued silence in the face of Walmart’s unjust and illegal retaliation against workers. The dramatic sit-in and march at Yahoo’s headquarters took place a day before Yahoo’s annual shareholders meeting and following recent protests at Yahoo’s campus and Mayer’s Four Seasons penthouse in San Francisco. For months, Walmart workers and community members have raised concerns about her position as a board member at Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, which is facing pressure both from its employees and community groups over the company’s business practices at home and overseas.
Today, associates who Walmart has recently fired for speaking out for a better life are at Yahoo! headquarters in Sunnyvale, California—demanding that Yahoo! CEO and Walmart Board of Directors member Marissa Mayer acknowledge her responsibility to ensure that Walmart does not violate workers’ freedom to speak out and join with their coworkers for better jobs.
On the eve of Mayer’s first shareholder meeting as Yahoo’s CEO, the workers are joined by other OUR Walmart members, community leaders, and elected officials in calling on the company’s Board of Directors to take immediate action to end Walmart’s illegal activity and ensure that the company follows the law and respects the core American value of free speech.
Associates and community allies will also deliver a card signed by hundreds of supporters at last week’s Netroots Nation conference in the San Francisco Bay Area. The card asks Mayer to meet with Walmart associates to listen to their concerns and support their calls for change at the company.
OUR Walmart members’ calls for change come in the midst of a series of crises at Walmart: weak sales figures and falling customer service ratings due to understaffing; repeated, preventable tragedies in the company’s supply chain; and ongoing, costly lawsuits and federal investigations related to allegations of bribery in the company’s Mexican affiliate. Despite this host of concerns, Walmart directors—including Mayer—have remained silent.