October was a banner month for Walmart workers nationwide. Each week saw more Walmart workers speaking up and going on strike, to protest Walmart’s attempts to silence workers and retaliate against them. The strikes culminated in an announcement at Walmart’s Arkansas headquarters that if the retaliation does not cease, workers will make Black Friday a “memorable” day for the company.
To make Black Friday a success, Walmart workers need the support of community members like you. Our website now features a number of ways to get involved and support Walmart strikers on Black Friday.
The supporters were arrested by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department while chanting “Si se puede!” (“Yes, we can!”)
“If you were all here in support of warehouse workers alone it would be a noble cause, but this isn’t just for warehouse workers. Your efforts benefit all working people,” the Reverend Eugene Boutilier told the crowd shortly before he was arrested.
Workers—who do not have a recognized union—went on strike Wednesday, Nov. 14, to call for an end to retaliation and unfair labor practices.
“We are standing up for ourselves to create a safe work environment, but we are continuously punished for it,” said Javier Rodriguez, a warehouse worker. “We decided to strike again because we are tired of being singled out and denied work,
Just three days after the first Walmart employee strike in history, Walmart issued an internal memo entitled Response to Walkout/Work Stoppage that surprisingly cautions against any but the most gentle treatment toward strikers. The document, meant for the eyes of salaried employees only and dated October 8, was leaked by the Huffington Post yesterday.
The strikes began at the Pico Rivera store in California on October 5 and had spread to 28 stores by October 9. The internal memo sets forth a new policy of non-interference and adherence to the National Labor Relations Act, affirming the right of employees to strike. It specifically states:
Do not discipline associates for walking off the job… (Emphasis in original document).
Dan Schlademan, Director of Making Change at Walmart, spoke to the Huffington Post on the unusual document: “I’ve been doing this work for 20 years,
Following national strikes at Walmart stores and at warehouses in Southern California and Illinois, workers who move Walmart merchandise at those sites have just arrived in Arkansas to call for an end to a new wave of retaliation against employees at Walmart-controlled warehouses. The dozen-plus warehouse workers have come to Bentonville during Walmart’s annual “Stakeholder Summit.”
They plan to draw a stark contrast between the image Walmart projects and the reality that hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers throughout its supply chain face intense retaliation whenever they speak out about poor working conditions.
The workers will hold a media conference later this morning, after which they will deliver a petition signed by more than 150,000 people nationally to Walmart’s home office.
“Walmart cannot have it both ways,” said Guadalupe Palma, a director for Warehouse Workers United, a group committed to improving warehousing jobs.
On the heels of growing Walmart unrest that began on Thursday, October 4 at the Pico Rivera Walmart in Southern Los Angeles, the first-ever strike in Walmart’s history, activists gathered at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, where Walmart is holding its annual financial analyst meeting. As roughly 200 striking Walmart associates and community supporters rallied in Bentonville in the name of changing Walmart labor practices, an agreement was reached via OUR Walmart for an action aimed at Black Friday, the most anticipated shopping day of the year for consumers and retailers and the kick-off to the holiday shopping season.
On Wednesday morning, a tele-conference with striking Walmart workers and community supporters was staged to announce new calls for change at Walmart. At the helm was Daniel Schlademan, Director at Making Change at Walmart, who emphasized the push towards Black Friday. He was echoed on the call by Evelyn Cruz (Pico Rivera Walmart employee),