Who are we?
Making Change at Walmart is a campaign challenging Walmart to help rebuild our economy and strengthen working families. Anchored by the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW), we are a coalition of Walmart associates, union members, small business owners, religious leaders, community organizations, women’s advocacy groups, multi-ethnic coalitions, elected officials and ordinary citizens who believe that changing Walmart is vital for the future of our country.
Why should you get involved?
As the largest private employer in the United States and the world, Walmart is setting the standard for jobs. That standard is so low that hundreds of thousands of its employees are living in poverty—even many that work full time. The problems extend to workers who toil in unsafe working conditions in subcontracted warehouses. And also to workers in developing countries such as China and Bangladesh who make incredibly low wages while manufacturing the goods on Walmart’s shelves. That pulls down standards for workers in the United States and around the globe.
Because of its size and political influence, Walmart is affecting much more than just working conditions. Although it has gained much fanfare for its efforts in environmentalism, sustainability has mostly been a public relations campaign for Walmart. The company has written hundreds of press releases and thousands of blog posts, but made little actual progress in reducing the environmental impacts of its products and business.
And Walmart has an outsized impact on our food system. It is the largest and seller of food in this country. That gives Walmart influence over which foods are available to the public, the methods in which food is produced, and the prices paid to producers.
Across this country, in rural and suburban communities, there are too many small businesses to count who have closed their doors due to competition from Walmart. Now, Walmart has aggressively set its sights on the final frontier—large urban communities like New York City and Los Angeles.
The company is also a major contributor to widening gap between the very rich and everyone else. The average full time Walmart “associate” makes about $15,500 a year. And worse, Walmart is pushing more and more workers toward a permanent part-time status. Meanwhile, the six members of the Walton family—heirs to the Walmart fortune and near majority owners of the company—have a combined wealth of $144.7 billion. That’s more than the bottom 42% of Americans combined.
Across the country, workers and communities are coming together as one to say enough is enough. It is time for fundamental change at Walmart. For the first time in history, Walmart retail workers have a voice through the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart). With thousands of members in hundreds of stores in more than thirty states, this courageous group of workers is speaking out and beginning to win improvements in their jobs and their lives.
As we have seen throughout history, to truly change a giant like Walmart, the demand has to first come from a company’s employees. That’s why the work of OUR Walmart is so inspiring and important.
And, through Making Change at Walmart, communities and groups are coming together to stand with OUR Walmart and fight back against all the ways Walmart is pulling down our economy. This website is a hub to keep you informed and give you ways to get involved in this work. Sign up here to get involved.