Josh Eidelson reported this morning in Salon a
Southern California Wal-Mart workers planned to begin walking off the job at 7:30 AM PST this morning, launching the first multi-store Walmart work stoppage since the retail giant fired twenty workers who’d joined a June walkout. The surprise strike is the latest effort to squeeze the retail giant to address workers’ grievances over wages, scheduling, and alleged retaliation. Strikers and supporters will rally today in Paramount, California; another rally is planned for tomorrow in downtown Los Angeles.
The group behind today’s strike is OUR Walmart, a non-union workers’ group with close ties to the United Food & Commercial Workers union. Today’s strike follows a one-day October 18 walkout – first reported by Salon – by Hialeah, Florida Wal-Mart employees protesting insufficient hours. Activists said that action was embraced, but not instigated, by OUR Walmart. According to OUR Walmart, the eighty-some strikers secured concrete victories: full forty-hour schedules for workers who wanted them; a manager transferred; 50 cent raises for workers who had been designated on their evaluations for 40 cents; and payment from Wal-Mart for their hours on strike. Wal-Mart did not immediately respond to an inquiry on that account.