More than 50 People Arrested in Largest Ever Act of Civil Disobedience Against Walmart

Posted by on Nov 8, 2013 in Press Releases, Walmart Watch Blog | 5 Comments

Emboldened by CEO Disclosure that Hundreds of Thousands of Walmart Workers Are Paid Less than $25K a Year, Walmart Workers, Supporters Intensify Protests Against Megaretailers’ Low Wage Jobs in Southern California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
LOS ANGELES –Fifty-four Walmart workers, members of the clergy and community members sat down in the middle of the street in Downtown Los Angeles Thursday evening to call for an end to retaliation and a salary of at least $25,000 a year for Walmart workers.

“Walmart has proven its willingness to break the law by illegally firing workers and trying to silence them,” said Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. “We are sitting down today to demonstrate that we won’t allow these dirty tactics in Los Angeles.”

Pointing to the $17 billion in annual profits and the $144.7 billion wealth of the Walton family, Durazo said Walmart can and should do more to improve jobs, and in turn, the local and national economy.

“We need good jobs in Los Angeles,” Durazo said. “We need stable jobs that pay well and that’s not what Walmart offers. There’s no reason the world’s largest company can’t pay workers $25,000 a year.”
Durazo was one of dozens arrested in the largest ever act of civil disobedience against the mega-retailer. The protest follows the arrest of 21 clergy members and Walmart workers in September.
Alongside Durazo were Walmart workers like Richard Reynoso, one of as many as 825,000 Walmart workers who are paid less than $25,000 a year.

Recently, Walmart US CEO Bill Simon disclosed in a presentation that 475,000 Walmart workers are paid more than $25,000 a year; meaning that as many as 825,000 Walmart workers are paid less. Reynoso, who has worked at Walmart for about a year and a half, struggles to pay his bills makes far less than $25,000 a year – even though he has a rare full-time job.

“I got arrested today because I believe that taking this step will encourage others to be brave and step forward and stand up to the world’s largest retailer,” said Reynoso, who is an overnight stocker at the Duarte Walmart. “Walmart can’t silence me.”

The protest comes almost exactly one year after the first-ever strike at Walmart began in Los Angeles. In that historic event workers at the Pico Rivera Walmart put their jobs on the line to end the illegal retaliation when they walked off the job. They set off a wave of strikes and protests around the nation.

“When I went on strike last year I had no idea what would happen, but I knew I had to do something to change Walmart,” said Dan Hindman, a Walmart worker at the Paramount store who makes less than $25,000 a year. “I am simply blown away by what has happened since then. We are winning, we have so much support and we are forcing Walmart to pay attention to its workers.”

Clergy members representing many different faiths joined the workers. Faith leaders’ support has been constant for workers who are risking their jobs by taking on Walmart’s policies.

“Americans want Walmart to own up to its position as the largest employer in the country and stop creating an economy that forces workers to take jobs that are unstable and pay less than what they need,” said Pastor Bridie C. Roberts, a program director at CLUE LA. “Walmart workers are risking their livelihoods to speak out for all American families. But instead of listening to workers and respecting their rights, Walmart is illegally intimidating, threatening, and even firing workers. Clergy members will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Walmart workers until the corporate giant changes its course toward real and positive change.”

Walmart has set its sights on expanding in urban areas like Los Angeles, but community opposition to its treatment of workers, effect on local business and negative environmental impact has been great.
In June a judge ruled that Burbank must rescind building permits it issued to Walmart to open a store in response to a lawsuit filed by community members. In New York and Boston community members have also successfully blocked Walmart from moving into the country’s densest areas.

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Photos at ChangeWalmart.Tumblr.com.

5 Comments

  1. tompnoonan1961
    November 8, 2013

    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 and without silence
    all the Walmart Workers and without Silence all the Sam’s Club Workers and
    without arrest all the Walmart Workers for going on Strike against Walmart

    Thank You
    Very Much

    From Tom P
    Noonan

    Reply
  2. tompnoonan1961
    November 9, 2013

    Union Yes for all Walmart Workers and Union Yse for all Sam’s Club Workers right of away and right now please by make Walmart give all Walmart Workes and all Sam’s Club Workers a Living Wage With Affordable Health Care right of away and right now please without close down all the Walmart Store and wightout close all the Sam’s Wholesale Club.

    Thank You Very Much
    From Tom P Noonan

    Reply
  3. floridanativee
    November 9, 2013

    All of the people arrested will have an arrest record which will really hurt their employment opportunities for the rest of their lives. The union people will get a check mark for it. Lots of people hurt here, The real problem is going to be when so many companies are forced to drop bacck to part time due to ObamaCare. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan, PERIOD.

    Reply
  4. tompnoonan1961
    November 9, 2013

    let Change Walmart Store into United Food And Commerical Workers Unionize Walmart Store for all Walmart Cashie Workers and for all Walmart Cholthing Department 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 Pharmacy Workers and let change Walmart Store intoTeamster Unionize Walmart Store for all Walmart Truck Drivers 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 Stock Person Workers and for all and for all Walmart Customer Service Desk Workers and for all Walmart Courtesy Association Walmart Maintenance Association and for all Sam’s Club Forklift Driver@Stock Person Workers and for all Sam’s Club Cashier Workers and for all Sam’s Club Produce Workers and for all Sam’s Club Meat Cutter@Meat Wripper Workers and for all Sam’s Club Cafe Workers and for all Sam’s Club Pharmacy Workers and for all Sam’s Club Membership Desk Workers and for all Sam’s Club Maitenace Workers and for all Sam’s Club Cart Attednance Workers and lete change Walmart Store into Community Workers of American Unionize Walmart Store for all Walmart Electronic Workers and for all Sam’s Club Electronic Workers let Change Walmart Store into United Auto Workers for all Walmart Tire@Lube Express Workers and for all Sam’s Club Tire@Car Battery Installmet Workers right of away and right now please by make Walmart Give all Walmart Workers 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 and without Silent all the Walmart Workers and without Silent all the Sam’s Club Workers and without arrest all the Walmart Workers for going on Strike Against Walmart and without arrest all the Sam’s Club Workers for going on Strike Aganist Walmart and Sam’s Club and without Terminated all the Walmart Workers for try to forming a Union and without Terminatrd all the Sam’ Club Workers for try to form a Union.

    Thank You Very Much
    From Tom P Noonan

    Reply
  5. craig
    November 13, 2013

    I worked for sams for 5 years and nite supervise for two and have I was recently fired by the new nite manager for speaking up but when I went to file unemployment they said I quit walmart has a police that you be coached 3 times before you get fired walmart as so called been investigating this for 2 monthes in the mean time my family does with out

    Reply

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