This year, Walmart workers and members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) made history with strikes in more than 100 cities on Black Friday and the days leading up to the shopping frenzy of Black Friday. Worker actions were supported by more than 1,000 protests in 46 states, including strikes, rallies, flash mobs, direct action and other efforts to inform customers about Walmart’s illegal actions to silence, discriminate and retaliate against its workers.
“Walmart has spent the last 50 years pushing its way on workers and communities,” said Mary Pat Tifft, an OUR Walmart member and 24-year associate who led a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. “In just one year, leaders of OUR Walmart and Warehouse Workers United have begun to prove that change is coming to the world’s largest employer.”
Across the country, UFCW local unions, along with community members, religious leaders, Occupy activists, AFL-CIO unions, and social justice activists, stood in solidarity with Walmart workers at unprecedented levels. Despite the threat of “serious consequences” articulated by Walmart Vice President David Tovar on national news outlets, OUR Walmart members bravely stood their ground and took action. Although key OUR Walmart leaders were systematically removed from the Black Friday schedule to prevent many of them from formally striking on Black Friday, all of them participated in actions that day, regardless of their strike status.
Hundreds of images and videos of Black Friday actions can be found at http://changewalmart.tumblr.com/ and http://bit.ly/Tovk6r.