October, 2015

Making Change at Walmart Campaign Airs Ads During Debate; Following Day Walmart Announces Profits Drop

FILE - In this June 5, 2015 file photo, Wal-Mart Store, Inc., Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon speaks at the Wal-Mart shareholder meeting in Fayetteville, Ark. Wal-Mart on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015 said it expects profit to fall for its next fiscal year and cut its sales outlook for this year as it works to fend off intensifying competition and perk up stores with better customer service. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

Last week, the Making Change at Walmart (MCAW) campaign released the following statement responding to news that the company announced it was predicting a drop in annual profit – an announcement that led to shares of Walmart dropping to their lowest point in three years.

“Walmart should be ashamed for trying to blame its failures on the so-called wage increases. The truth is that many hard-working Walmart employees all across the country began seeing their hours cut soon after the new wages were announced. The idea that this truly drove down Walmart’s profits is a fairytale,” said Jess Levin, communications director for MCAW. “The reality is that customers want a Walmart to reflect their values, and until that changes the company will continue to struggle. It is time for Walmart and other retailers to wake up and hear the change the American people and their customers want.”

MCAW released two ads earlier last week that highlighted the struggles that many Walmart and retail workers face every day. Those ads, “Replaceable” and “Real Change,”debuted during the Democratic debate Tuesday night and continued to run nationally throughout the week.

New Ad Campaign Calls on Democratic Candidates to Stand with Walmart Workers

replaceableThe Making Change at Walmart (MCAW) campaign announced a new ad campaign called #OurWalmartVoices that began airing on Tuesday during the first Democratic presidential debate on CNN.

In a direct effort to reach all the 2016 presidential candidates, the hard-hitting ad campaign will feature the difficult and troubling experiences of a diverse group of current and former Walmart workers. From poor wages and benefits, to decreasing hours and difficult scheduling, the ad campaign highlights the emotional impact that many workers, and their families, face at Walmart and all across the retail industry.

The first phase of the #OurWalmartVoices ad campaign will feature two 30-second commercials. The first, called “Replaceable,” will highlight the experiences of hard-working retail workers at Walmart. The second, called “Real Change,” specifically calls on the Democratic presidential candidates, as well as the Republican candidates, to stand with them, their families, and workers who are just like them in their effort to change retailers like Walmart for the better. Both ads can be viewed at theHelpChangeWalmart.com, as well as at UFCW.org.

The ad campaign will first air nationally during the CNN debate and then continue a national run the following two days on CNN. Online, the ad will appear on Facebook and Twitter. In total, the ad will be seen more than 34 million times.

The #OurWalmartVoices ad campaign is part of a larger grassroots effort that will also include targeted social media and on-the-ground actions across multiple states, designed to reach Walmart and retail workers all across the country. The goal of the campaign is to ensure that all candidates, Republican or Democrat, take notice of the struggles of retail workers, and to also highlight these real issues as part of the 2016 race for the White House.

11 Important Facts About Latinos in the U.S. Workforce to Keep in Mind During Hispanic Heritage Month

Originally posted by AFL-CIO

11 Important Facts About Latinos in the U.S. Workforce

In a new report released this week, Latino Workers and Unions: A Strategic Partnership for America’s Progress, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement details the work environment for Latinos in the U.S. workforce. The picture the report paints isn’t a pretty one. Here are 11 important facts about Latino workers in the United States:

1. The Latino population is the fastest growing group in the United States, currently at more than 55.4 million (17% of the overall population).

2. More than 26 million Latinos represent about 15% of the workforce, a number expected to nearly double by 2050.

3. In 2013, nearly one in four Latino families lived below the poverty line, nearly twice the national poverty rate.

4. Nearly one-fourth of Latinos work in low-wage jobs.

5. In 2014, the Latino unemployment rate was 6.7%, above the national rate of 5.5%.

6. In 2014, the average nonunion Latino made just $547 a week.

7. More than two-thirds of Latinos lack retirement accounts, and more than 80% of Latino households have less than $10,000 in retirement savings.

8. Nearly 30% of Latinos lack health insurance.

9. More than three-fourths of Latino workers work in jobs where they face minimum wage or overtime pay violations.

10. In 2013, nearly 800 Latinos died at U.S. workplaces, the highest total since 2008.

11. Latinas on the job earn only 56% of what a white man earns and more than 75% of Latinas in the southern part of the United States report sexual assault being an issue in the workplace.

The report says that the key way for Latinos to improve this situation is through unions, a partnership that will yield many benefits for unions, too. The report concludes:

Although the current outlook for Latinos is uncertain, their potential for growth is impressive. Wielding over $1.5 trillion in purchasing power, making huge gains in the workforce and electorate, it’s no surprise that the future for Latinos can be drastically different and positive. But in order to realize this potential, Latinos must harness their strengths and exert their voice in the workplace.

Gaining access to a union will be an essential step for Latino workers and their families. Through union representation, Latinos can achieve higher wages that will help them fight poverty and gain access to health and retirement benefits.

Making Change at Walmart Presents at UNI’s Walmart Global Union Alliance Meeting

UNI WM GolbalMaking Change at Walmart (MCAW) presented at UNI’s Walmart Global Union Alliance meeting in Bogota, Columbia, to an audience of people working on Walmart and labor issues in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa.

MCAW’s presentation discussed the campaign’s biggest victories from the previous year and future plans for the rest of the year and 2016, including plans for more coordinated media and ground campaigns. MCAW additionally discussed ways for the alliance to coordinate and promote the campaign work in their countries.

The alliance aims to further develop global and local labor relations with Walmart in order to find mutually beneficial solutions to promote the interests and well-being of Walmart’s workforce along with the success of the company.