February, 2015

Walmart Workers Get a Raise

141128_DallasWalmartProtest042Last week, Walmart announced that it will raise wages for 500,000 hourly associates. While this latest development is a victory for the brave members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), Walmart can and should publicly commit to doing more for its associates.

Walmart can afford to pay all of its 1.4 million workers at least $15 per hour and provide access to full-time, consistent hours.  The company makes between $16 and $17 billion a year in profits, and just four members of the Walton Family—heirs to the Walmart empire—have a combined family fortune that is estimated to be nearly $150 billion. Their net worth is greater than the wealth held by 42 percent of American families combined!

The Retail Justice Alliance will continue to stand with members of OUR Walmart until every single associate at Walmart has the wages and hours they need to support their families.

 

Tell Walmart to Discipline Managers Who Illegally Target Workers For Standing Up For Their Rights

Reposted from Making Change at Walmart

In the past few years, OUR Walmart members have won hard-fought changes at America’s largest retailer. Their bravery, dedication and many actions calling on the Waltons and Walmart to treat Walmart workers better have led to reformed policies for pregnant workers, more transparent scheduling, a raise for Walmart’s lowest paid workers and improved working conditions across the nation.

This past Black Friday, protesters turned out at store locations all over the country, asking Walmart to pay workers $15 an hour and provide access to full-time hours so that associates can afford to make ends meet. Workers went on strike to protest retaliation against workers who stand up for such changes.

Social-Media-Fight-Back-Graphic

Instead of responding to these calls for change, many Walmart managers have been illegally spying on, disciplining and even firing workers who spoke out.

Despite Walmart’s publicly stated anti-retaliation policy, the company has allowed these managers to get away with targeting workers who exercise their rights. These managers have upended the lives of workers, leaving many with no answer as to where money for rent or the next grocery visit will come from.

That’s why OUR Walmart members are calling on Walmart to either discipline these rogue managers or own up to its anti-worker policy. It’s time to end Walmart’s culture of intimidation

You can help support the fired and disciplined workers who are fighting back, by clickinghere to see which store managers have been breaking the law, and then signing the workerpetition telling Walmart US Labor Relations Manager Vice President Vicky Dawson to uphold Walmart’s policy and immediately discipline or fire these managers that have been involved in trying to illegally silence workers.

Retail Justice Alliance Celebrates Black History Month

black-history-LOCThis week marks the beginning of Black History Month, a time to celebrate the central role of African Americans in U.S. history and the achievements of the civil rights movement.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. In 1965, a year after the Civil Rights Act was passed, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference chose Selma, Alabama, as the location to highlight its effort to register African American voters in the face of Governor George Wallace and segregationist repression. Together with the Dallas County Voters League and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the activists organized protests that led to a march from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery to highlight the desire of African American voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

In spite of being attacked by state troopers and the police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday, Dr. King and the marchers finally reached Montgomery on March 25, where Dr. King delivered his “Our God Is Marching On!” speech in front of tens of thousands of supporters.

“Let us therefore continue our triumphant march to the realization of the American dream,” Dr. King said….“Let us march on poverty until no American parent has to skip a meal so that their children may eat. March on poverty until no starved man walks the streets of our cities and towns in search of jobs that do not exist. Let us march on poverty until wrinkled stomachs in Mississippi are filled, and the idle industries of Appalachia are realized and revitalized, and broken lives in sweltering ghettos are mended and remolded.”

The organizing effort to register voters and the participation of Dr. King and other prominent leaders in the historic march had a lasting impact and the Voting Rights Act, which guaranteed the right to vote to all African Americans, was passed months later on August 6, 1965. Despite these victories, the fight for social and economic justice continues as the gap between the rich and poor continues to grow and social unrest continues to rise. In the retail sector alone, which is an important employer of minorities and women, too many workers are struggling to survive in low-wage, part-time jobs with little to no benefits. The assault on workers’ rights continues to persist, and in many cases, retail workers who want to stick together to bargain for better wages and benefits are threatened, intimidated and sometimes fired by their employers.

The march goes on and the fight for social and economic justice in the retail industry and in our communities continues.

All Workers Deserve Access to Paid Sick Leave

paid-sick-daysThe United States is the only industrialized country that doesn’t require paid sick leave for workers.  Currently, nearly 40 million Americans are reporting to work sick out of fear of losing more hours or even their jobs, and many are in low-wage, part-time jobs in the retail industry.

To date, only 16 cities and three states have passed sick leave laws.  While these states and cities should be lauded, all workers deserve access to paid sick leave.  Fortunately, legislation has been introduced that addresses sick leave on the national level.  The Healthy Families Act would allow millions of American workers to earn up to seven job-protected paid sick days each year.

No one should have to report to work sick because they have no other choice. The Retail Justice Alliance urges Congress to act now and pass Healthy Families Act.