More than 100 Arrested in 11 Cities Protesting Walmart

Posted by on Sep 6, 2013 in Press Releases, Walmart Watch Blog | 27 Comments
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
In largest mobilization since Black Friday,
100 ARRESTED IN ELEVEN CITIES PROTESTING WALMART’S ILLEGAL RETALIATION, LOW WAGES
 
Group Announces Massive 2013 Black Friday Strikes
Follow the conversation and see photos at @ChangeWalmart, #WalmartStrikers and changewalmart.tumblr.com
 
One hundred Walmart workers and community members were arrested in 11 cities Thursday calling on the employer to reinstate illegally fired and disciplined workers, publicly commit to improve jobs and end the company’s aggressive violations of workers’ rights. Thousands of supporters, including the President of the National Organization for Women, Terry O’Neill, joined the group in 15 cities in the largest mobilization since Black Friday in 2012. In response to Walmart’s inaction, the group announced widespread, massive strikes and protests for Black Friday in 2013. The group made headlines last year on Black Friday with the largest strike in the company’s history.
 
Workers and community members protested in the following cities on Thursday:
 
·         Baton Rouge, LA
·         Boston, MA
·         Chicago, IL
·         Cincinnati, OH
·         Dallas, TX
·         Denver, CO
·         Los Angeles, CA
·         Miami, FL
·         Minneapolis, MN
·         New York, NY
·         Orlando, FL
·         Sacramento, CA
·         San Francisco, CA
·         Seattle, WA
·         Washington, DC


 
The arrests and protests come in the heat of national calls for better wages in low-paying jobs. “Enough is enough,” said Venanzi Luna, a worker who was arrested in Los Angeles, where more than 1000 protestors marched in downtown Los Angeles. “Walmart continues to put us in an impossible position, and people are finally standing up for what’s right. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make sure we’re heard. We’ll be out in even greater force on Black Friday.”
 
Similar protests across the country drew hundreds of workers and community supporters, including in the Washington, DC area where protesters shut down one of the busiest streets in Prince George’s County.
 
“We’ve had enough of Walmart’s inaction,” said Tonya Cauley, a Walmart worker who was arrested Thursday in Hyattsville, Md. “As the country’s largest employer, Walmart can and should do better. We aren’t calling for much—a minimum full-time yearly wage of $25,000 and assure us that we can stand up for what’s right without being attacked. I’m energized by the support I saw today and will be out stronger than ever on Black Friday.”
 
Economists, labor market experts and others have been increasingly voicing concern about the growing income inequality and its impact on the economy. Walmart, the largest company on the Fortune 500 list, made $16 billion in profit last year and the majority of owners of the company, the Waltons, have the combined wealth of nearly half of American families. Meanwhile, many Walmart workers continue to earn on average poverty wages of $8.81 an hour, despite misleading claims from Walmart that wages are higher. A Congressional report released earlier this year calculates the Walmart workforce reliance on public assistance including food stamps, healthcare and other needs is estimated to utilize $900,000 per year of taxpayer funds at just one of the company’s 4,000 stores.
 
“As the nation’s largest employer, Walmart and the Walton family should be raising standards, not lowering them. To whom much is given, much is expected,” said Kim Bobo, Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice. “Walmart should share its prosperity with workers and publicly commit to paying workers $25,000 a year for full time work, as the courageous Our Walmart workers are demanding.  If Walmart workers earned living wages the entire economy would benefit.”
 
A report from the national public policy center Demos shows that better jobs at Walmart and other large retailers would even help the store’s bottom line, as well as have an impact on individual families and the larger 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 more than 100,000 new jobs. 
 
Rather than providing good jobs that American workers need and deserve, Walmart is trying to silence workers who are standing up with their co-workers to live better and spending its time and money trying to deny workers a decent day’s pay. But ongoing labor mismanagement concerns, including Walmart’s inaction on ending illegal retaliation, improving jobs at stores and putting meaningful protections in place at its suppliers, have contributed to record-levels of votes against Walmart Board of Directors and even shareholder divestment this year.  
 
Since June, Walmart has illegally disciplined nearly 80 workers, including firing 20 worker-leaders. More than 100 Unfair Labor Practice charges have been filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Walmart. Workers in California recently announced that after an investigation, the NLRB regional office found that Walmart committed 11 violations of national labor law. 
 
Venanzi Luna and Tonya Cauley are members of the growing national organization OUR Walmart. OUR Walmart, or Organization United for Respect at Walmart, formed just two years ago, when 100 Walmart associates came together to voice their concerns about the companyretaliating against those who speak out for better working conditions. With thousands of members across the country, the group organized the first strikes in company history last year and helped bring more than 30,000 supporters to protest at stores on Black Friday in 2012.  
 
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Follow the conversation and see photos at @ChangeWalmart, #WalmartStrikers and changewalmart.tumblr.com.
 
 
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: 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.

27 Comments

  1. Tom P Noonan
    September 7, 2013

    Union Yes for all Walmart Employee and for all Sam’s Club Employee by make Walmart give all Walmart Employee and all Sam’s Club Employee a Living Wage With Affordable Health Care right of awat 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

    Reply
    • Let's Tell The Truth on Prop 1
      September 14, 2013

      And when WM / SAMs raise prices to pay more, sales decline and layoffs begin. This cause and effect is taught in econ 101 – were you absent that day. Want better wages? Get better skills! A Rolex is always worth more than a Timex. Don’t blame WM for paying commensurate to skill. Artificial ‘living wages’ never endure.

      Reply
      • texasryan
        October 1, 2013

        Thats just it why would they need to raise prices they have a surplus of capital each year a surplus in the billions instead of hoarding money they should reinvest in their employees. if they can afford to pay 20 million to the CEO this year they could at least pay a living wage to the cashiers. theres nothing artificial about living wages, its just people are bastards. theres no reason to pay the top people multiple millions that is why we dont have living wages these companies are top heavy.

      • Let's Tell The Truth on Prop 1
        October 3, 2013

        First, who are you, I or we to tell a private company, in compliance with law, how they should allocate their resources? If you like that style move to Cuba.

        Surplus capital or profits go to fund expansion, company programs, and mostly to investors – many of which are retirement funds and retirees. That is why people invest in company’s equity and without equities to fund business, there’d be few jobs. Perhaps you’d find that preferable. One last tidbit to chew on here – without those companies and PROFITS there’d be no tax revenues that fund unemployment, healthcare, police, fire, etc. Government is a parasite totally dependent on taxes derived from ……gasp…. PROFITS!

        Why do people continue to whine about the guy at the top and what he makes? It’s none of your business and it’s ONE guy, do you know how many people WalMart employs? Over 2 million, O.K. let’s use YOUR solution, pay the top guy ZERO and give it all to the employees. Really think your extra three cents a day will make a difference in their life? They’d do better checking change outlets on vending machines. More to the point do you think a complex organization like WM and its 2 million jobs would last long without competent executive management?

        WalMart Top heavy? Back it up. Clearly you don’t know the facts. Even if it was, that doesn’t justify paying people artificially inflated wages for unskilled labor just because YOU think it’s fair. I go back to my original post: “when WM / SAMs raise prices to pay more, sales decline and layoffs begin. This cause and effect is taught in econ 101 – were you absent that day?”

        Pay’s typically based on value to the company which is based on skill level. Want more pay? Get better skills.

      • MEProudLIBERAL
        October 4, 2013

        Rant much?

      • Let's Tell The Truth on Prop 1
        October 4, 2013

        That’s the best you have? Apparently cogent counter argument isn’t in your lexicon. Skip the point and degrade into nonsense – typical.

  2. Tom P Noonan
    September 7, 2013

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

    Thank You Very Much
    From Tom P Noonan

    Reply
  3. floridanativee
    September 10, 2013

    How many of these were actually Wal-Mart employees and how many were paid union thugs?

    Reply
    • tompnoonan1961
      September 22, 2013

      Tom P Noonan 0

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      Reply
  4. What th'?!
    September 10, 2013

    Go workers! I knew Sam Walton. Ate dinner with him in 1971. WalMart is a monster and needs to be reined in. People all over the US should start wearing “Unionize Walmart” t-shirts to every Wal-Mart and Sam’s to protest the massive costs WM passes on to taxpayers in many forms, but a big one is Medicaid costs. WM doesn’t pay its workers enough, so they are mostly on state funded health care. It’s obscene and immoral. So, all you WM defenders who love to beat up poor people, wake up and realize it’s also YOUR tax dollars going to foot the bill for WM health care.

    Reply
    • Tom P Noonan
      September 12, 2013

      What th’?
      I use to work over at Sam’s Club from 08/20/1991 to 08/28/2002 on August 26 2002 Sam’s Club Member told me about portend their Dog in the Car then Sam’s Club Member told the Manager Fire me because the Sam’s Club Member blame me for be rude to her like I ran her with a Basket and calling her name.
      Thank You Very Much
      From Tom P Noonan

      Reply
  5. Let's Tell The Truth on Prop 1
    September 14, 2013

    I wonder is forcing WalMart and it’s employees into a union consistent with freedom? If you don’t like their wages and policies, QUIT!

    “illegal retaliation” says who? Has a court found it illegal? Is this just more false propaganda like 80% of WM workers get food stamps? That lie has been thoroughly disproven yet the union still makes it. This seriously undermines their credibility. Shame on them.

    If you want higher wages get skills that warrant them. Union extortion and artificial government fixes are temporary at best and fly in the face of freedom.

    If you have no education, skills, benefits, kids out of wedlock you cant afford and failing in life; stop blaming others and look in the mirror. YOU made those choices, take responsibility for them.

    Reply
  6. MEProudLIBERAL
    September 14, 2013

    The only effective answer to organized greed like Walmart is organized labor!

    Reply
    • floridanativee
      September 15, 2013

      Unions are organized GREED. So glad to hear they are finally running away from ObamaCare like I suggest several years ago. Their members are going to take it in the shorts because of it. Their union bosses will be OK though. They finally realized that under socialism, most everybody has to suffer. Being brought down to the lowest common denominator is not fun, but hey, you voted for it and you got it. No exemption for you. You are just like the rest of the people.

      Reply
      • Reformed_Repuglican
        September 15, 2013

        “We must reduce workers’ salaries and take away their right to strike.” Adolph Hitler, 1933/Walmart 2013

      • floridanativee
        September 16, 2013

        I knew you must have been reading him.

      • texasryan
        October 1, 2013

        floridanativee doesn’t think we should learn from the folly of others instead lets keep staving the poor so our corporate pay mastes like the waltons can be BILLIONAIRES while keeping the working class on food stamps. But hey man its the poor people fault for not being born into a rich family right or for not having enough money for college or no wait its because they’re lazy right? Well let me tell ya i know people with bachelors degrees that cant find work. I know people with masters degrees barely getting by. This is where they have gotten us. They feed us lies about how its costing you and me money and get us all riled up but we never stop and think why is obamacare needed? its not because poor people wont buy insurance its because corporations like wal-mart wont provide benefits, its because insurance companies have could deny just about anyone for any reason so entrepreneurs couldn’t risk going on their own. This is a mess that was made by the rich bastards of america and the way they are trying to fix it is by placeing the burden on the middle class and then saying its the poors fault for not having insurance. I hate rich people.

      • floridanativee
        October 1, 2013

        Looks like hating has made you a very unhappy person. Looks like America isn’t working out for you, Europe would suit you better I’d bet. Give it a try. You realize of course that the owners of this site and many other unions are now against ObamaCare don’t you? There is still opportunity in America, but not for the folks like you with a horrible attitude which is almost always coupled with a poor work ethic. You blame the rich bastards, but should be looking in the mirror for you state of failure.

      • texasryan
        October 1, 2013

        I’m against obamacare its doesn’t fix anything it merely puts a warm fuzzy in the liberal belly while funneling more money into the insurance corporations. You know nothing of my work ethic you self righteous ass. I’m an eagle scout, a private pilot, and work at a semi-conductor fab while paying my way through college. I’ve performed in front of thousands and had standing ovations. I don’t have a horrible attitude I just refuse to believe the lies we’re being fed, but yeah you go back and say that workers joining together to try and avoid exploitation is what’s wrong with this country. I bet you love it when china makes everything you own and you can only shop at wall-mart because your non-union job only pays minimum wage. Hey where did the great factory jobs go for people who couldn’t go to college? Oh yeah rich people wanted to be a little richer so they outsourced the work and bled the economy. I love America remember the statue of liberty what does it say “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Freedom is what I want, for America to live free of oppression.

      • floridanativee
        October 2, 2013

        No standing ovation from me, here, I see when you were in college, you neglected to take American history classes.

  7. Geo
    September 17, 2013

    I don’t if you thought of this or not. It is to Walmart’s best interest for the middle class and the American economy to get worst because they will benifit from it by getting more customers. Why would they treat their employees and vendors fairly?

    Henry Ford changed the American economy by realizing that workers had to be paid a fair wage to be able to buy corporate America’s products. Today corporations are only interested in the price of their stock.

    Reply
  8. Quilter58
    September 24, 2013

    I would like to see people go after more than just Walmart. I work at Hancocks fabric and make $7.25 an hour, can only work part-time, with no benefits unless I pay for them.

    Reply
    • floridanativee
      September 29, 2013

      What are you doing to improve your job skills?

      Reply
  9. Samuel Sitar
    September 26, 2013

    those bored police should be arresting criminals. going on strike is free speech.

    when fired wal-mart workers should tell their managers to leave instead. the 20 fired people didn’t have to leave.

    Reply
  10. Stoney McCollum
    October 2, 2013

    POLITICIAN STEW 
    The Walton Family Recipe 
    with D Glass of Greed
    I’m not a weed in the garden I’m a flower inside
     Please don’t pluck me away before it my time
    Rain, soil and sunshine is needed 
    So I may bloom in the Garden of Eden
    I have been stepped over, walked on and kick out of the way
    Please listen up and hear what I’m trying to say
    We must take each other by the hand
    Reunited together we must stand 
    Watch out for the Politicians, Insurance and major Corporations
    Greed is a addictive disease infecting the leaders of our nation
    They say you are covered by their insurance plan
    We must pay premiums and our family lives are in their hands
    But conflicting interests instills suspicions in my mind
    That the insurance pressure doctors not to treat medical conditions they find
    They deny culpability and rationing our benefits
    If it doesn’t fit their profit margin that’s treatment we do not get
    The sick, elderly and disable don’t have much say
    The insurance companies has designed that way
    Their protected by Politicians, The Man
    Who appoints Puppet Judges across our land
    Special interest and the media moves in for the feeding 
    Breeding greed and contempt not a peaceful Garden of Eden
    The Politicians are thieves with their system of vultures and crows
    They cut our hours and benefits and rob from our gardens we grow
    They say they watch over us like a shepherd would his flock
    But the system is more like chickens being protected by the hawk
    They tax us and fee us and take all of the green 
    We are herded into pastures of mud in disease
    I’m not a weed in the garden I flowers at night 
    where I often dream of a system of right
    Where everyone gets the medical they need
    And the doctors can cure all of the disease
    The media is the scarecrow it reports what it sees
    Scaring the greedy from glutton off are needs
    The children are happy you can see it in their faces 
    There is no discrimination amoung all of the races 
    The sun is out shining so bright 
    What a wonderful world I dream of at night
    But I awake from my dreams to the familiar nightmare
    The bald vulture and crow circling on air
    There are so many of them and they all want to eat
    As the greed in the system drags me off my feet
    They tear at my sole ripping out my innards
     Fighting for my guts to eat for their dinners
    Establishment of the system fighting for their share
    They all eat together but the greed is still there
    I can not fight forever and the system will someday win 
    But they can’t take away my family, music and friends
     God watches over and gives me the courage that I need 
    To confront the golith corporation thats evil with greed
    I’m not a weed in the garden I’m a flower because of
    My Garden of Eden Is a my Family, Friend and Songs that I love!
    By Stoney McCollum 1998(unedited)

    Reply
  11. MEProudLIBERAL
    October 20, 2013

    If a car wash can be unionize, so can Walmart!

    In the space of 24 hours, four car washes—two of which are owned by two of the largest car wash owners in the city—have signed contracts with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

    Workers at the Webster Car Wash and WCA/Rico Pobre Car Wash in The Bronx, owned by reputed car wash kingpin John Lage, and the Jomar Car Wash and Sutphin Car Wash in Queens, owned by Fernando Magalhaes, have ratified a three-year contract similar to two other union carwashes ratified within the last few months. Lage reportedly owns more than 20 car washes in New York City and partners with Magalhaes in some of them.

    http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Organizing-Bargaining/Carwasheros-Sign-Four-New-Union-Contracts-With-Biggest-Car-Wash-Owners-in-New-York-City

    Reply

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