Through out the labor community Wal-Mart is well known as one of the worst employers in the country. They treat their employees like dirt, they pay them even less, and do even ask for healthcare. Well now they are standing up to live better.
Together with the help of Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart (OUR), workers are starting to make their voice known. As some in the labor movement have said, one voice can be heard, but 10,000 voices cannot be ignored. Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart recently delivered a ‘Declaration of Respect’ to the home office (Video) in Arkansas which included:
- Listen to us, the Associates
- Have respect for the individual
- Recognize freedom of association and freedom of speech
- Fix the Open Door policy
- Pay a minimum of $13/hour and make full-time jobs available for Associates who want them
- Create dependable, predictable work schedules
- Provide affordable healthcare
- Provide every Associate with a policy manual, ensure equal enforcement of policy and no discrimination, and give every Associate equal opportunity to succeed and advance in his or her career
- Provide wages and benefits that ensure that no Associate has to rely on government assistance.
These are not outrageous claims. These workers want to be treated with the respect and dignity that every worker deserves. They want to be paid a living wage not minimum wage. They want to be able afford to eat and pay their rent. They want they option to get affordable healthcare.
This declaration is only the beginning. Wal-Mart associates in Richmond Virginia staged a ‘sit in’ prior to walking off the job. “We will not be silenced by Walmart for standing up for respect and against harassment, intimidation and retaliation,” said Mario Hammod, a worker at the Richmond Walmart.
This comes just weeks after Walmart workers walked off the job in more than a dozen states. At the same time, workers went on strike at Walmart’s largest distribution center outside of Chicago, IL and were joined by hundreds of clergy and community supporters, some of who were arrested by riot police during the peaceful protest. And earlier this fall, workers in Walmart-controlled warehouses in Southern California went on a 15-day strike that included a six-day, 50-mile pilgrimage for safe jobs.
Now that you have seen their story you can help take part in their action. They are planning a nation wide strike of Wal-Mart workers on Black Friday. Yes the largest shopping day of the year, BLACK FRIDAY.
We need your help to spread the word. Share this post with your friends, your family, your kids teachers, and coaches. Make them understand what Wal-Mart is doing to their associates. Then stand in solidarity with Wal-Mart Workers by boycotting Wal-Mart on Black Friday. Let them know you and all your friends won’t shop at a place that does not respect their associates.