Walmart Workers Continue to Stand Up

In October 2012, more than 70 Los Angeles Walmart workers from nine stores walked out in solidarity against what they called poor working conditions and retaliation by Walmart against employees.  About 250 workers and supporters protested outside the Pico Rivera, CA Walmart store, carrying signs reading, "On Strike for the Freedom to Speak Out" and "Walmart Strike Against Retaliation."  The workers said Walmart has responded to their complaints about working conditions and low pay with threats, suspensions and terminations.  Their action spread to Walmart stores in 12 other cities and soon included over 100 company employees.

Now, with “Black Friday” fast-approaching, workers have sent the following message to the corporation:  “Stop retaliating against workers trying to organize, or the year’s most important shopping day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, will see the biggest disruptions yet.”

The Walmart store workers who’ve gone on strike so far equal about one out of every 10,000 of Walmart’s 1.4 million US employees.  But, their actions signal their discontent, their capacity for collective action, and an exciting moment in labor’s future. 

By Lisl Duncan

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