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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.

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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.

What the Waltons Can’t Buy

We did it. We said that this Black Friday would be bigger than ever. And thanks to support from communities, organizations, and faith leaders around the country, we made history.

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There are some things that even the richest family in America, the Waltons, can’t buy – people-power, hope, and respect just to name a few. This year, along with our support, Walmart workers sent a clear message to Walmart and the Waltons: America deserves better.

Making Change at Walmart sends our thanks to every individual who helped make this Black Friday season one to remember. From Anchorage to Orlando, Chicago to New Orleans, we made a huge impact:

  • Protests in all 50 states & at 1,600+ Walmart stores.
  • Walmart workers from more than 2,250 stores signed a petition calling for $15 & full time.
  • #WalmartStrikers trended nationally on Twitter.
  • #WalmartStrikers trended nationally twice on Facebook, bumping Kim Kardashian and Star Wars.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” It’s not easy standing up to a multi-billion dollar corporation, but the more people learn about how Walmart treats its workers, the more our movement continues to grow.

No one in America should work at a company with $16 billion in profits, run by a family with more than $150 billion in wealth and be unable to put dinner on the table. Walmart workers are standing up for their families and for all families who are struggling to make the American Dream a reality.

We are starting to see changes at Walmart, and we know we can win. With your ongoing support, change is possible.

Be sure to share our accomplishments on social media, so our communities can continue spreading the word.

Worker-led Protests Highlight Need for a Living Wage and Full-time Hours

rja photoLast week and for the third year, current and former Walmart workers who are members of OUR Walmart made history.  Leading up to and on Black Friday, OUR Walmart members and thousands community supporters held 1,600 protests across the country calling for Walmart to respect their right to speak out for better jobs at our country’s largest private employer—making the 2014 Black Friday actions even more widespread than last year. And today, fast food workers are making history as well as they go on strike in 160 cities across the country as part of the “Fight for 15” campaign.

As more and more workers take to the streets to call for respect, and better wages and benefits, it’s becoming very clear that our country’s current low-wage, part-time economy where a few are doing well and the rest are struggling is unsustainable.  The Retail Justice Alliance stands with these brave workers in their fight for respect, a living wage, and a pathway to a better life.

Stand with Walmart Workers this Holiday Season

DSC_0028There is no company more responsible for driving income inequality through its low-wage, part-time business practices than Walmart—our country’s largest private employer. That’s why we should all be thankful that, during this holiday season, Walmart workers across the country are again leading the fight to change the way Walmart does business.

Leading up to Black Friday, these brave Walmart workers are going on strike, leading protests and even engaging in civil disobedience, and they deserve our thanks and support. The Retail Justice Alliance is standing with Walmart workers leading up to and on Black Friday as they defend their right to speak out for positive change in the workplace.  Please join us by signing up to attend a protest or holding your own event at a Walmart store near you by visiting http://blackfridayprotests.com/.

 

Walmart Workers Continue to Speak Out Ahead of Black Friday Actions

for rjaWalmart workers were busy this week as they prepared for Black Friday actions across the country.  This week, members of OUR Walmart testified on the Hill at a briefing with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Congressman George Miller (D-CA) about how Walmart’s low-wage, part-time business practices are creating an economic crisis for working families in America.  In another event this week, Walmart workers in Brazil, Mexico, the UK, Colombia, Argentina, India, Canada, Switzerland and the U.S. also called on Walmart to respect basic workers’ rights.  And yesterday, dozens of Walmart workers and supporters in Cincinnati and Dayton gathered at local Walmart stores to call on the company and its owners—the Waltons—to publicly commit to pay a living wage of $15 an hour and provide consistent, full-time hours.

Next week on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of year, the Retail Justice Alliance will stand with members of OUR Walmart across the county as they fight for respect on the job.  Please join us in supporting these brave men and women as they defend their right to speak out by signing up to attend a protest or holding your own event at a Walmart store near you by visiting http://blackfridayprotests.com/.

After Protests in Los Angeles, Walmart Workers Announce Black Friday Strikes

15788204405_fff199ba72_kToday, current and former Walmart workers who are members of OUR Walmart announced that they will strike across the country on Black Friday—November 28—to protest the retail giant’s illegal silencing of workers who are standing up for better jobs and the company’s low-wage, part-time business practices. OUR Walmart members will be joined by thousands of Americans—including teachers, voters, members of the clergy, elected officials, civil rights leaders and women’s rights activists—at 1,600 protests nationwide who will call on Walmart to raise wages to a minimum of $15 an hour and provide consistent, full-time work.

 The announcement comes on the heels of the first-ever sit-down strike in Los Angeles, where workers sat down in a Walmart store in Crenshaw and refused to move, holding a sit-in near cash registers and racks at the store for a two-hour period. The sit-down strike was followed by a protest at another Walmart store in Pico Rivera where dozens of Walmart workers were joined by hundreds of community allies and 23 people were arrested for civil disobedience.

As Black Friday approaches, please join us in supporting these brave men and women as they defend their right to speak out by signing up to attend a protest or holding your own event at a Walmart store near you by visiting http://blackfridayprotests.com/.

Retail Justice Alliance Stands with OUR Walmart Members in Fight for Better Wages and Consistent, Full-Time Hours

final for 15This week, current and former Walmart workers who are members of OUR Walmart delivered a petition to the Walton family—heirs to the Walmart empire—in New York City and Phoenix and to the Walton Family Foundation in Washington, D.C. The petition, which was signed by workers from 1,710 of Walmart stores in all 50 states, calls on the retail giant to publicly commit to pay its workers $15 per hour and provide workers with access to consistent, full-time hours.

Walmart can afford to pay its workers more.  The Walton family is the richest family in the U.S.—with the wealth of 43% of American families combined. While many Walmart workers are unable to feed and clothe their families on their pay of less than $25,000 a year, the Walton family takes in $8.6 million a day in Walmart dividends alone to build on its $150 billion in wealth. Walmart brings in $16 billion in annual profits.

“We are tired of seeing the Waltons enjoy every luxury this world can offer while the workers that build their wealth are unable to pay their bills,” said Interfaith Worker Justice Executive Director Kim Bobo, who is also a member of the Retail Justice Alliance. “Income inequality will only be addressed when the Waltons and Walmart provide fair pay and regular hours to their workers. I’m here today taking a stand for Walmart workers, and I’ll be back on Black Friday with thousands of others who have had enough of Walmart’s destruction of the American Dream.”

Too many Walmart workers are struggling to cover the basic necessities like food and shelter and are forced to rely on taxpayer funded supports like food stamps to survive.  Leading up to Black Friday and beyond, the Retail Justice Alliance will continue to stand with members of OUR Walmart as they fight for better workplace conditions and respect on the job.

 

OUR Walmart Members Hold Retail Giant Accountable for Income Inequality

wm workersAs the gap between the rich and poor continues to grow, Walmart workers who are members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) are calling on the company to take responsibility for its role in creating an economy that benefits the wealthy few while more and more Americans fall out of the middle class.

Next week, OUR Walmart members will deliver petitions to members of the Walton family—heirs to the Walmart empire and the richest family in America—in New York City and Phoenix and to the Walton family foundation in Washington, D.C., and call on the retail giant to publicly commit to pay its workers $15 per hour and provide workers with access to consistent, full-time hours.  The petitions are part of OUR Walmart’s “Low-Wage Economy Exposed Tour” to highlight Walmart and the Walton family’s role in driving the income inequality problem in our country.

There is no company more responsible for creating and exacerbating income inequality through its low-wage, part-time business practices than Walmart—our country’s largest private employer.  At the company’s own admission, the majority of Walmart’s 1.4 million workers are paid less than $25,000 a year. That means that too many Walmart workers are struggling to cover the basic necessities like food and shelter and are forced to rely on taxpayer funded supports like food stamps to survive.

Walmart can afford to pay its workers more.  The company makes between $16 and $17 billion a year in profits, and just six members of the Walton family have a combined family fortune that is estimated to be more than $150 billion. Their net worth is greater than the wealth held by 43 percent of American families combined!

Walmart and the Waltons can and should change their business practices so that Walmart workers can support their families.  Until that happens, the Retail Justice Alliance will continue to stand with members of OUR Walmart as they fight for better workplace conditions leading up to Black Friday and beyond.  To sign the petition, visit http://action.changewalmart.org/For15.

Call Walmart Now and Tell the Company Women Shouldn’t Be Fired Just for Being Pregnant

This article was originally posted by Jobs with Justice.

It’s been more than six months since Walmart, which was under pressure from associates and women’s organizations, agreed to change its pregnancy policy to provide basic accommodations for employees experiencing complications with their pregnancies. But a Walmart store in Chicago reveals the company has fallen far short of truly implementing its policy to support pregnant workers.

In April, store associate Thelma Moore was injured by falling TV boxes while shopping at the Chatham Walmart on her day off. Then two months pregnant, her doctors recommended she stay home for two weeks, then made a list of accommodations she needed in order to return to work, including not lifting boxes over 25 pounds and being able to take water breaks every two hours. Thelma filled out the necessary paperwork but was told no positions were available that could accommodate her. Walmart then fired her for missing too many days.

Unfortunately, Thelma’s case is not an isolated one. In February, her co-worker Bene’t Holmes suffered a miscarriage on Walmart property when she was four months pregnant after being denied her request to stop stocking chemicals and lifting heavy boxes.

Workers’ at Thelma’s store and the community in Chicago have been organizing to support women like Thelma and Bene’t – so far they have collected petition signatures, sent a delegation to the manager and held a prayer vigil.

Now, we need your help to turn up the heat. Call 1-800-WALMART (925-6278) today to demand the Chatham store in Chicago reinstate Thelma and comply with Walmart’s pregnancy accommodation policy.

Here’s why your call matters. If the Walmart customer service line receives 200 complaints about the Chatham store, it will trigger an investigation by the home office.
Thelma Moore was fired from her store after requesting accommodations for her pregnancy.

Here’s a helpful script for your call:

Hello, I’m calling to register a serious complaint about your Chatham store in Chicago (store #5781). I have learned that Thelma Moore, an associate at the store, was injured by falling boxes while shopping in her store on her day off. Her doctors recommended several accommodations to her job to protect the health of her pregnancy, but instead of accommodating her needs, the company fired her. Expecting mothers should not lose their jobs for making reasonable requests recommended by their doctor. I demand you reinstate Thelma Moore and follow the company’s new pregnancy policy.

As you make your call, members of Respect the Bump and Chicago Jobs With Justice will be demonstrating at Thelma’s store. Follow along with the protest with the hashtag #WalmartMoms. You can also let us know how your call went by commenting below!

While Thelma fights to get her job back, she and other members of Respect the Bump, an organization of pregnant women and new moms at Walmart, continue to hear from women who are being denied accommodations. It’s clear that Walmart needs to take action to ensure that their policy is fully implemented and enforced at every store, and go further to extend basic accommodations to all pregnant women who have a medical need for them, whether they have complications or a normal pregnancy.

As the largest private employer of women in the country, Walmart should set the standard for how women workers are treated throughout the industry and our economy. The stories of women like Thelma and Bene’t highlight the need for Congress to take action – including passing the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act – as well as the significance of the upcoming oral arguments in the pregnancy discrimination Supreme Court case Young v. United Parcel Service, which is scheduled to start December 3.