Dozens of Black Friday Actions Take Place Outside Walmart Stores Nationwide OUR Walmart and Allies United in Call for $15/hour And Full-Time
Comes On The Heels Of A More Than Two Week Fast
By 1,400 Calling Out The Giant Retailer for the Hunger Crisis at Walmart
Friday, November 27, 2015 — Today, in cities across the county, Walmart workers and dozens of allied groups are joining together in a united call for “$15 and full-time” for the millions of hardworking associates who are struggling to put food on the table this holiday season on Walmart’s poverty pay and inconsistent hours. Today’s actions, outside a dozen Walmart stores across the nation, comes on the heels of a more than two-week fast by 1,400 people, including hundreds of Walmart workers, many of whom are working this holiday season, including Jasmine Dixon, a mother of two in Denver Colorado and Lisa Pietro, a grandmother in Winter Haven, Florida. This is the fourth year of Black Friday actions by OUR Walmart and the biggest coalition yet – with more than twenty-two different organizations partnering in the actions.
OUR Walmart Black Friday actions are taking place at hundreds of stores across the country today including large crowds expected in: New York City, Tampa, Washington, DC, Miami, Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, Seattle, Portland and Detroit. More than 200,000 have signed petitions calling on Walmart to change. You can follow along using the hashtag #Fastfor15 and learn more at: http://protests.blackfriday.
Their message is clear: while Walmart employees can barely put food on the table this Thanksgiving, Walmart continues to thrive as the largest supplier of groceries in the nation and line the pockets of the Walton family with corporate greed. Anything less than $15 and full-time is not enough for Walmart workers.
“This Black Friday, Walmart will not be able to ignore their employees who sacrifice time with their families—even on Thanksgiving, like me—to earn a paycheck that won’t even cover basic groceries,” said Pat Scott, a Walmart employee in Washington. “We’ve been fasting for $15 an hour and full-time work outside of stores and Walton estates across the country—they know we’re going hungry, that my co-workers and I skip meals and pick up our dinners at food banks on our way home. The question is whether Walmart will use any of last year’s $16 billion in profits to do anything about it.
“This Thanksgiving, I worked at Walmart for the third year in a row because I worry about becoming homeless again like I was when Walmart forced me to taken an early, unpaid maternity leave,” said Jasmine Dixon, a Walmart employee in Colorado. “But I deserve more than such a low wage that my family and I still have to rely on food stamps and donations. Walmart needs to learn to respect us as people who work hard every day and stop taking advantage of us.”
This week, OUR Walmart released company testimony to the public for the first time revealing Walmart’s surveillance of their workers fighting for $15 an hour and full-time work in the wake of Black Friday strikes in 2012 and the “Ride for Respect” in 2013. In addition to closely monitoring the lawful labor rights activism of its associates on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as the company faced a wave of bad publicity and negative same store sales, Walmart enlisted military industrial giant Lockheed Martin to spy on its workers and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to gather intelligence on protests.
In response to these acts by Walmart, OUR Walmart is launching a campaign focused on key members of the congress whose responsibility it is to oversee the FBI and its activities. You can see the campaign here – https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/help-us-ensure-that-walmart-stops-collaborating-with-the-fbi-terrorism-taskforce.
● The Walton heirs own half of Walmart, which raked in $16 billion in profits over the last year. Their wealth has been greater than the bottom 42 percent of all American families combined.
● More Americans buy their groceries at Walmart than anywhere else — capturing about 25% of the grocery market in the U.S., and up from around 7% in 2002, yet workers can’t even afford to shop there.
● Walmart is the largest company by revenue in the US — and their US retail sales exceed those of Kroger, Target and Costco combined.
● 37 million people shop at Walmart every day — that’s more than the entire population of Canada.