A recent article in Bloomberg’s Businessweek highlights why it’s been a very bad week for Walmart.
This week, hundreds of Walmart workers and members of OUR Walmart in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, and Dallas, Texas, intensified their calls for Walmart to end its practice of retaliating against workers who are simply exercising their right to speak out for a better life and improved working conditions. Citing Walmart’s $17 billion in profits last year, members of OUR Walmart are calling on the retail giant to publicly commit to raising wages and increasing access to full-time hours so that no worker at Walmart makes less than $25,000 per year. In the past few weeks, members of OUR Walmart have organized similar actions in Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago.
Following the strikes in Ohio and Texas, the NLRB’s General Counsel issued a decision in favor of workers that Walmart illegally disciplined and fired workers over strikes and protests. The NLRB will prosecute Walmart’s illegal firings and disciplinary actions involving more than 117 workers, including those who went on strike last June, according to the decision.
The NLRB decision addresses threats by managers and the company’s national spokesperson for discouraging workers from striking and for taking illegal disciplinary actions against workers who were on legally protected strikes. Workers could be awarded back pay, reinstatement and the reversal of disciplinary actions through the decision; and Walmart could be required to inform and educate all employees of their legally protected rights.
Also this week, an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer caught national attention when it reported that the Walmart store in Canton, Ohio, was collecting food for employees who can’t afford Thanksgiving dinner. Stephen Colbert covered the story in “The Colbert Report.”
As Black Friday approaches, members of OUR Walmart have launched a petition to President Obama and unveiled an online portal that lets associates sign up for community support. For more information or to sign the petition, sponsor a striker or attend a Black Friday action in your community, visit http://blackfridayprotests.org/.