by Mike Hall
Walmart workers around the country are mobilizing for a “Black Friday” strike to protest working conditions, wages and retaliation against workers who speak out. Meanwhile workers and their allies at a Walmart warehouse are picketing and rallying today in front of the Riverside County, Calif., facility following Wednesday’s strike by some two dozen warehouse workers.
Walmart store workers are asking people nationwide to support them on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. They ask that supporters take action that spreads the word about their strikes and demonstrates to Walmart a wave of support for workers who are speaking out about poor working conditions, low wages, irregular hours and more.
While the store workers are not union members, they have joined together in OUR Walmart, a worker-led organization that stands up to make change in its company. Find out more at http://forrespect.org and http://MakingChangeAtWalmart.org.
Here are some ways you can help show support from Making Change at Walmart:
- Take the Black Friday Pledge to say that you will stand with workers on the busiest shopping day of the year. On the Corporate Action Network website, we are gathering locations for actions and events supporting Walmart strikers, as well as materials. Enter your city or ZIP code to see if we have something scheduled near you or adopt your own store.
- If you want to help in another way, why not sponsor a striker? The brave act of going out on strike also comes with an economic cost. By making a donation, you can help to ensure that Walmart strikers receive a $50 grocery gift card.
- Use our Share for Respect Facebook app to tell your Walmart worker friends about what’s going on.
- Join the conversation on how to change Walmart by contributing art and ideas to our Tumblr.
- Connect with workers and other community supporters on our Official Black Friday Walmart Strike Facebook page and like the Making Change at Walmart Facebook page.
- On Twitter, use the hashtag #walmartstrikers and follow Making Change at Walmart.
Yesterday’s warehouse action centered on retaliation workers have faced since a September work stoppage protesting unsafe working conditions. Javier Rodriguez, a warehouse employee who was on the picket line, told KESQ TV:
We are standing up for ourselves to create a safe work environment, but we are continuously punished for it. We decided to strike again because we are tired of the retaliation and then, like clockwork, instead of addressing our concerns, the warehouse singled us out and punished us again.
The Mira Loma, Calif., warehouse workers are employed by a Walmart subcontractor, Warestaff. Find out more from Warehouse Workers United.
In other Walmart news, The Nation’s Josh Eidelson reports that one former Walmart worker in Orlando, Fla., who was visiting his former store to talk to workers about the upcoming actions, was handcuffed by police after store management “intentionally misled Orlando police” into detaining the worker. He was released after management failed to provide evidence of its charges. Read the full story.
Mike Hall is a writer for the AFL-CIO Now blog where this post first appeared.