For more than two years, OUR Walmart members and community allies have been at the forefront of the movement challenging Walmart to change in order to better communities, the lives of workers and the American economy. Walmart workers have publicly shared their stories about working for the world’s largest private employer. Through their actions in November and on Black Friday, community members and Walmart workers boldly declared they are tired of the Walmart economy and Walmart’s attempts to silence workers by firing and disciplining those who speak out.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the OUR Walmart community, the 2013 Black Friday actions were even bigger than before. Building on the momentum from actions in the past year, tens of thousands of OUR Walmart members and community supporters held protests across the country on Black Friday. Hundreds of thousands more joined by taking action online.
By taking action, OUR Walmart members are speaking out for changes that will protect their right to speak out, improve customer service and create better jobs for themselves, their families and for our country. Even in the face of Walmart’s aggressive anti-worker campaign, OUR Walmart members are speaking out for 1.3 million workers at the company, most of whom are not even earning $25,000 a year.
“During Black Friday, workers stood together and we called on Walmart do better. We aren’t calling for much—a minimum full-time yearly wage of $25,000 and the assurance that we can stand up for what’s right without being targeted,” said Vanzel Johnson a 2-year Walmart worker in Lancaster, TX.
OUR Walmart 2013 Black Friday actions began with a strike on November 6th in Los Angeles and continued throughout the month, culminating in nationwide actions on Black Friday. The 2013 Black Friday actions demonstrated how workers and the community are standing up in record numbers and the calls for Walmart to change will only continue to grow.
“It is an incredible experience to stand with my co-workers and members of my community. I know that together we are stronger and with the support of each other in OUR Walmart, we can make the changes that workers and the economy desperately need,” Johnson said.
By challenging Walmart on Black Friday, OUR Walmart workers sent a clear message that the time has come for the company to change. The Walmart model hurts workers and their families and the Waltons and Walmart executives need to recognize that it is time to work together to make better choices for a better America.