At Yahoo Shareholders’ Meeting, Walmart Associates Call On Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to Help Change Walmart

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 25th 2013

At Yahoo Shareholders’ Meeting, Walmart Associates Call On Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to Help Change Walmart

Just Weeks after Protests at Walmart’s own Shareholders Meeting, Walmart Worker Questions Mayer’s Involvement on Walmart Board of Directors

 

Confrontation Follows Five Arrests Monday at Walmart Associate-Led Protests at Yahoo Headquarters

Santa Clara, CA – Today, at Yahoo’s annual shareholders meeting Walmart Associates and their supporters used the opportunity to question Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer about her involvement as a member of Walmart’s Board of Directors. Workers and community members raised concerns about her involvement in decision-making at 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.

Several Walmart Associates, among them Barbara Collins, a Walmart associate from Placerville, California and member of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), a national organization of Walmart associates speaking out for a stronger company and economy, asked Marissa Mayer pointed questions about whether her involvement with Walmart represented a reputational risk for Yahoo. Collins was one of five people arrested at a dramatic protest on Monday at Yahoo Inc. headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. The protest called attention to Mayer’s silence as the retail giant bullies its employees.

Collins gave voice to growing concerns that Mayer and other members of Walmart’s board have remained silent even as the company contends with widespread protests against its treatment of its workers, plummeting customer service ratings and weak store sales due to understaffing, and preventable tragedies in the supply chain.

OUR Walmart members and supporters nationwide have been calling for the company to end retaliation against employees and publicly commit to providing full-time work with a minimum salary of $25,000 a year so workers don’t have to rely on taxpayer funded programs to support their families. As the nation’s largest private employer, a change of course at Walmart would have a direct impact on millions of working families and the economy as a whole.

“As a working mom, Marissa Mayer is a unique voice on the Walmart Board of Directors,” said Sarita Gupta, Executive Director of Jobs with Justice. “She can be an advocate for Walmart parents who are asking for regular schedules and enough hours to provide for their children. It’s time for her to recognize that too many Walmart workers have to rely on public assistance to make ends meet, and it’s time for a change.”

A new report released by the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce found that the costs to taxpayers at just one Walmart store as a result of inadequate wages and benefits is about $1 million.

In an outpouring of support at last week’s Netroots Nation, hundreds of progressive journalists, activists, and other supporters posted on social media photographs of themselves calling on Mayer to meet with Walmart workers and support their calls for change at the company.

Today’s events at the Yahoo shareholders’ meeting comes on the heels of Walmart’s own shareholders’ meeting, which was the focus of striking Walmart Associates’ “Ride for Respect.”  The “Ride for Respect” was a weeklong, nationwide caravan in the spirit of the civil rights movement during which workers and supporters traveled to Walmart’s shareholders’ meeting in Bentonville, AR to call for an end to retaliation against workers and voice the direct impact that Walmart is having on their lives and the economy.

“Walmart’s outrageous suppression of its workers’ freedom of speech shows just how far out of step this company is with American values of freedom and respect for hard work. It’s unacceptable that a company with $16 billion in profits is bullying working families just trying to make ends meet and keep food on the table,” said Terry O’Neill, President of the National Organization for Women (NOW). “We’re not going to stand for it – we’re going to stand up to Walmart’s illegal behavior until they stand down and respect workers’ rights to speak out.”

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UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Wal-Mart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Wal-Mart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Wal-Mart publically commit to adhering to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.

  • MEProudLIBERAL

    It’s obvious the Walton family just don’t care. Going after a non-Walton board member for help was a smart move!

    • floridanativee

      Duh, who owns the stock?

      • BrunswickBobby

        Unions raise the standard of living for everyone but are bad for us? That makes sense where, your insane asylum?

      • floridanativee

        Look at the US auto industry. Unions ran it into the ground and now over half of the cars made in the US are run by foreigners. Their workers make more money than the union plants and work in very modern plants that thrive on efficiency and productivity. They have huge waiting list and the UAW has spent millions of dollars of their members money trying to unionize them with zero success. Unions run companies out of business. This is one reason Wal-Mart has taken over 25% of the nations grocery business and the unionized grocery stores are failing left and right. You statement might have been right 40 years ago, but no longer. Relying on somebody else for you own success is not a good way to succeed. They want to make everybody average.

      • MEProudLIBERAL

        Of course you remember when union organized nurses, teachers, firefighters & municipal and state workers crashed the economy and took billions in bonuses and bailouts?

      • floridanativee

        The teachers unions have made the US tests scores below average in among the developed nations of the world. They care only about the students. The municipal unions are bankrupting cities all over the US. Their early retirements, gold plated healthcare and pensions are unsustainable and will never be actually paid. They continue to pit taxpayers against union workers. You don’t actually belong to a union as there isn’t a union of the unemployed non achievers.

      • MEProudLIBERAL

        Conservative hero George W. Bush’s ‘No Child Left Behind’ was a total waste of time and a failure.

        ‘You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.’ – George W. Bush

      • floridanativee

        That is your uninformed opinion. Fact are that our international test scores have dropped over the last 3 decades prior to GW. Teachers unions are the main reason in my opinion.

      • MEProudLIBERAL

        “Teachers unions are the main reason in my opinion.”
        I thought every word that flowed from you was pure fact! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

      • floridanativee

        You should not use you and thinking in the same sentence.

      • Tom P Noonan

        It is time
        for Walmart join the United Food and Commercial Union Workers for all Walmart Cashier Workers and
        for all Walmart Produce Workers and for all Walmart Deli Department Workers and
        for all Walmart Bakery Department Workers and for all Walmart Clothing
        Department Workers and for all Walmart Pharmacy Workers . It is time for
        Walmart join the Teamster Union for all Walmart Truck Drivers Workers and all Sam’s
        Club Truck Driver Workers and for all Sam’s Club Forklift Driver@Stock Person
        Workers and for all Walmart Stock Person Workers and for all Walmart Gardening
        Department Workers and for all Walmart Hardware Department Workers and for all
        Walmart Customer Services Desk Workers and for all Courtesy Association Workers
        and for all Maintenance Workers and for all Sam’s Club Meat Cutter@Meat Wrapper
        Workers and for all Sam’s Club Cashier Workers and for all Sam’s Club Produce
        Workers and for all Sam’s Club Sam Café Workers and for all Sam’s Club Bakery
        Department Workers and for all Sam’s Membership Desk Workers and for all Sam’s
        Club Cart Attendance Workers for all Sam’s Club Maintenance Workers and for all
        Sam’s Club Pharmacy Workers. It is time for Walmart join Communication of
        America Workers for all Walmart Electronic Workers and all Sam Club Electronic
        Workers. It is time for Walmart join the United Auto Workers Union for all
        Walmart Tire@Lube Express Workers and for all Sam’s Club Tire@Car Battery
        Installment Workers right of away and right now please by make Walmart give all
        Walmart Workers a Living Wage With Affordable Health Care and all Sam’s Club
        Workers a Living Wage with Affordable Healthcare right of away and right now
        please without close down all the Walmart Store and without close down all the
        Sam’s Wholesale Club.

        Thank You
        Very Much

        From Tom P
        Noonan