NH Union Leader’s Demands Lead Manchester Newspaper Guild To Launch A ‘Byline Strike’

The Newspaper Guild

The Newspaper GuildFighting back against “the worst contract proposal ever seen,” the Manchester Guild mobilization committee is launching a byline strike effective Wednesday. “We need to push back to get a better offer. To alert the publisher to our unity and strength, and to get the attention of the public, the local is asking all reporters and photographers to withhold their bylines and credit lines beginning with the editions of Wednesday, Feb. 5 (to coincide with bargaining), continuing through the editions of Saturday, Feb. 15.,” the committee says in an email to members.

Local officers subsequently described the contract proposal in more detail:

This is a “third” offer from the company, and takes giant steps back from the “Option 2″ we never even got to discuss.

Presented Jan. 22, the one-year “deal” would include:

An 18% pay cut, RETROACTIVE to Jan. 5, to be paid back in 10 equal installments, and subject to payroll taxes for a second time;

–A hike in insurance deductibles from $1,250 to $3,000 for single (non-union it’s $2,000) and from $2,500 to $6,000 family (non-union it’s $5,000);

Gutting of seniority language in event of layoff, giving publisher choice of who to lay off “in good faith” as to ability with no regard to seniority and elimination of the rehire list.

–This gem, which I’ll quote, and which seems to eliminate even lost time for local officials to defend the contract and our members…”Bargaining unit members shall not conduct union business during their assigned working hours without the express approval of the Publisher or his representative.”

The first option presented in September would have totally gutted our contract (and included the layoff and anti-union language). Members rejected that unanimously. Option 2 was to become the company’s only proposal as of Jan. 1. Bargaining dates on Jan. 2 and Jan. 21 were snowed out, so it never even made it to the table to be discussed as such. Then came this. It’s like we’re being punished for the weather.

SIEU President Mary Kay Henry Goes On The Colbert Report

Mary Kay Henry on Colbert

The Internet is a wonderful place.  If you miss something your friends will definitely let you know.  To prove my point, I must have seen this clip from the Colbert Report go by on Facebook, Twitter, and every other social media I monitor at least a dozen times before I finally clicked on it.

The clip is of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Mary Kay Henry discussing why the SEIU is helping the fast-food workers strike for better wages and benefits.

Even though we all know Steven Colbert is a political ‘lefty’ his show presents it from the hardcore right perspective.  The interview begins with the most common myth about fast food workers. He asked why are “low wage workers striking, they are just teenagers.”
This is the same statement that every opponent to a living wage uses.  That may have been the case 30 years ago when America was full of good middle class jobs.  That is not the case anymore.  Mary Kay Henry said  “28 years old.”  That’s right the average age of a low-wage restaurant worker in 28 years old.

Here are some of the other notable moments from the interview:
We are proud to stand with the fast food workers who are asking corporation making record profits to pay them a living wage.” – Mary Kay Henry

$5.5 Billion dollars in profits at McDonalds just this past year, workers are working hard and cannot make ends meet.” – Mary Kay Henry

We cannot have a strong economic recovery if workers do not have money in their pockets so they can buy goods and services so that those companies can hire more people and we can have an economy that works for everyone in this company not just the corporations.” – Mary Kay Henry

However my favorite line of the interview comes from Steven Colbert.  Every word is just dripping with snark and sarcasm.

“You have heard Fast Food called a guilty pleasure.  Part of the guilt I feel is because I know they are being treated so poorly.”

Mary Kay Henry summed it all up perfectly when she closed with:

“People should be able to work hard, get by, and get ahead. That is the promise we made to every worker in this country”

The Colbert Report

MAINE: Join Us For Personal Members Accounts Of What Happened To Take Down Twinkies

Hostess Strike BCTGM

Hostess Strike BCTGM

Everyone is invited to a very special event in Portland Maine.

Event: Bakers and Bankers-Who Really Keeps the Dough?

Date: Wednesday, April 3rd. 7pm.

Location: University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine. Wishcamper Center room #133

The workers of the Hostess plant in Biddeford, Maine will put their side of the story front and center this coming Wednesday.  Mike Hummell (a 14 year Hostess BCTGM worker from Lexena, KS) has graciously agreed to join the panel by the Southern Maine Labor Council to discuss the pension theft and how the company portrayed the issue in the media versus reality.

“I also hope to encourage people to be more active in confronting dishonest media reports. I will of course remind everyone of the role of Ayn Rand cultist Judge Drain while I’m at it.” Mike Hummell

Joining Hummell on the panel will be John Jordan, Business Manager for Bakers Union #334 along with Joe Piccone, Business Agent for Teamsters Local #340, the union representing the delivery drivers at Hostess. Having the Local representatives from both the Bakers and the Teamsters should give a good look at the events on the ground as they unfolded.

Rounding out the panel will be Biddeford City Councilor Richard Rhames, addressing both the impact the closing is having on Biddeford and the various tax breaks provided by the city to Hostess. How much did the people of Biddeford do for Hostess over the years? What exactly did they get to show for it when it was all said and done? Has the city been left hanging on any promises? Hopefully the City Councilor Rhames will be able to answer some of these questions.  Again, if you have questions, please put them in the comments on the Facebook event page.

This will be a discussion of the direct effects on the city of Biddeford. The other speakers will tell the story from their unique local perspectives.
(RSVP To the event via FACBOOK)

You can read about the Biddeford, Mike and the plant in this article. http://www.pressherald.com/…It gives a grim view of the prospects for former employees.

The bakery union representing former Hostess workers has objected to the planned sale of the bread brands to Flowers, saying the bid offers no assurances that former labor contracts would be honored.The Industry International Pension Fund also is objecting to the sale.

In a court filing on Feb. 25, the bakery union and pension fund said, “Flowers has not committed to preserve a single job, and in fact has affirmatively disclaimed any obligation even to ‘consider’ employing a single worker.

“Thus, while debtors’ secured lenders may view Flowers’ bids as the ‘best’ for getting themselves paid, Flowers’ bids provide zero assurances that the rights of the debtors’ workers will be protected,” the filing said.

If you are a Portland, Maine, please join us for a discussion of the real life effects of our hedge fund economy. Or as Fox News would say- “Union thugs gang up and steal Twinkies from babies!”

Catch up with the pension theft here. http://www.dailykos.com/…

You can also see what really happened to Hostess in the video, from Mike Hummell.  It is very different than what the mainstream media may have told.

Today We Remember The Man and The Labor Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King 2

“History is a great teacher. Now everyone knows that the labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers them.” Dr Martin Luther King Jr

In our current time of great struggle we should look back at history to see how far we have come as humans, as Americans, and as labor unions.  This weekend we will celebrate the birth of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, a man who moved a nation.  While most people remember Dr King as the great human and civil right advocate, many also remember the impact he made on the labor movement.  While they may seem very different, they are in fact the same.Dr King realized that both labor unions and civil rights advocates were fighting for the same thing.  Fair and livable wages for all.  So together Dr King and unions like AFSCME came together to help each other.  This was evident in the Sanitization Workers Strike in Memphis in 1968.  The strike took on more than just labor issues, it became a symbol of the civil rights movement.  Dr. King lead over 20,000 people through the streets of Memphis in solidarity of the AFSCME Strikers.


You are demanding that this city will respect the dignity of labor. So often we overlook the work and the significance of those who are not in professional jobs, of those who are not in the so-called big jobs. But let me say to you tonight that whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and is for the building of humanity, it has dignity and it has worth.  AFSCME Memphis Sanitation Strike, April 3, 1968

The next day, April 4th 1968, Dr King was assassinated in on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

On 8 April, an estimated 42,000 people led by Coretta Scott King,  SCLC, and union leaders silently marched through Memphis in honor of King, demanding that Loeb give in to the union’s requests. In front of the City Hall, AFSCME pledged to support the workers until “we have justice” (Honey, 480). Negotiators finally reached a deal on 16 April, allowing the City Council to recognize the union and guaranteeing a better wage. While the deal brought the strike to an end, the union had to threaten another strike several months later to press the city to follow through with its commitment. (1)

The demands of the AFSCME Workers in 1968 were not that different that what we ask for today.  We want a fair and livable wage, security and safety in our jobs, and the right to negotiate with our employers.  Today we remember the Man, the Labor Leader, the Civil Rights Advocate….  Dr. Martin Luther King JR.

Stunned By The Silence of Our Secretary of Labor

Sec. of Labor
Hilda Solis

I am actually ecstatic that President Obama has been elected for a second term but I am perplexed at the silence of his entire cabinet. Especially the Labor Department headed, up by Hilda Solis. When I ask fellow union members who heads up the Department of Labor, I get a blank stare. Nobody knows. Here we are in the fight of our lives to preserve unions and in most of the fights from Wisconsin to Michigan to New Hampshire the Labor Department has been absolutely silent.

Sec. of Labor
Hilda Solis

From the Right to work fights to the anti-labor stance taken by Hostess and the possible layoff of 25,000 letter carriers due to the implementation of five day delivery by the Postal Service you hear nothing from the Labor Department. That is very troubling to workers. The Labor department is supposed to be our advocates. In 2009 after a very hard confirmation I remember being in a meeting with Secretary Solis and she stated “there’s a new sheriff in town, and she’s on the side of Labor”. So where has she been?
They didn’t weigh in on the crippling shipping strike in California nor have they said anything about the 11,000 workers about to be laid off by Citi Group. It’s astonishing that they are so silent on all these potential job losses. What are they there for but to be on the side of workers? There just seems to be a disconnect.

We finally get a Secretary who actually has a history in the Labor movement, not management, and she has a standoff attitude. She should be at the front of the picket line! Maybe I just don’t understand what the Department of Labor is all about. I’m pretty sure their mission statement is “To foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights”.

She then should be supporting Wal-Mart workers and issuing strong statements against the company that locked up those garment workers in that factory that 112 were killed in Bangladesh. Aren’t incidences like that that triggered the union movement in this country? Remember the Triangle Waistcoat Factory fire in Washington Square in Manhattan in 1910!

It’s like the entire Obama Cabinet is invisible. You never hear from any of them. What is going on? Have they been given a gag order? Anyway, that’s my rant for the week. Have a happy holiday.

The Retail Theft Of Thanksgiving

Boycott Walmart

First let me start by saying Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your family. I hope you enjoy the holiday and the time you get to spend together.

I would also like to take a moment to thank the men and women who do not get Thanksgiving or most holidays off.  These dedicated men and women work every hour or every day. Many of these people work in ‘safety-related’ fields.  They are your local Police and Fire departments.  They are there whenever you call.  They are the doctors, nurses, and staff at your local hospitals.  They are there when you twist your ankle playing football after Thanksgiving dinner.

There are many others, like pilots and other airline industry workers. Thanksgiving weekend is the busiest travel time of the year. Millions of people fly home to be with families, and members of my union – the National Air Traffic Controllers Association – help to make sure you get there safely.

These union members in safety-related jobs are not the only people who have to give up their holidays to fulfill their duties.  For example, the IBEW members at PSNH who are working or on-call. Or the State Employees (SEA/SEIU1984) who are working the toll booths throughout New Hampshire. I could go on, but I think you get my point.

Millions of people have to work on holidays; unfortunately, that number is going up every year.  This year, that number is going up dramatically.  This is largely in part to the stealing of the Thanksgiving holiday by the retail industry.

As long as I can remember, the day after Thanksgiving was always a special day for shoppers.  People would read the newspaper to see all the specials. They would get up at un-godly hours and stand in lines to be the first in line for that ‘doorbuster’ deal.  Over the last few years that has all changed, and I think it is appalling.

This year, all the major retailers are opening earlier than ever to beat out their competitors.  Best Buy and the Simon Malls are opening at midnight on Friday morning.  The new Merrimack Premium Outlets are opening at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day.  Target, Sears, and Toy R Us will be opening at 8pm on Thanksgiving Day.

This is why I am saying that the retail market is stealing Thanksgiving.

The worst of all is Walmart.

Walmart alone employs 1.4 million people in the U.S.  Around the country, most Walmarts will open at 8pm on Thanksgiving.  But other Walmarts will be open all day.

For instance, the Bedford Walmart is going to be open at 7am, just like any other Thursday.  Except Thanksgiving is not a normal day. This is a special day. This is a day to spend with friends and family enjoying good food and fellowship.  This is not a day to be forced into work at a retail store so the corporation can make extra money on ‘Black Thursday’.

Mary Pat Tifft a Walmart associate and organizer for OUR Walmart stated

“This Thanksgiving, while millions of families plan to spend quality time with their loved ones, many Walmart workers have been told we will be stocking shelves and preparing for doors to open at 8pm on Thanksgiving night.

My son is coming home from Afghanistan for the holiday, and I would be devastated if I had been scheduled to work. I see the disappointment in the eyes of my co-workers, especially those with young kids, that aren’t going to be able to share the holiday with their families.”

How many of these people are getting ‘Holiday Pay’ or extra pay for giving up their holiday to work? I would guess very few, if any, will – considering that Walmart does not even give the majority of their employees health benefits.

How many of these minimum wage workers would volunteer to work Thanksgiving, if they weren’t required to work?  What is next, opening at 9am on Christmas Day to start the after-Christmas sales?  If this Thanksgiving Day trend continues, what will stop the largest single employer in the U.S. from stealing Christmas, too?

I will do my part to stop this trend, by not shopping on Thanksgiving Day.  I will also be boycotting Walmart this Friday as well, in honor of the OUR Walmart workers who are planning a walkout strike on Black Friday.

Please pledge to ‘Stand With Walmart Strikers‘ and make this Thanksgiving one that Walmart, and all the other retailers, will never forget.

Information about OUR WALMART

OUR Walmart, the associate-led organization that aims to ensure every Walmart employee is treated with respect, raise employee working standards, and improve customer service at Walmart stores nationwide.

 

An Update From BCTGM: HOSTESS IN CURRENT CONDITION BECAUSE OF FAILED MANAGEMENT

Hostess Strike BCTGM

HOSTESS IN CURRENT CONDITION BECAUSE OF FAILED MANAGEMENT

The following statement was issued by BCTGM International Union President Frank Hurt in response to claims by Hostess Brands that it would begin liquidation should union members not end the strike and return immediately to production facilities:

“The crisis facing Hostess Brands is the result of nearly a decade of financial and operational mismanagement that resulted in two bankruptcies, mountains of debt, declining sales and lost market share.  The Wall Street investors who took over the company after the last bankruptcy attempted to resolve the mess by attacking the company’s most valuable asset – its workers.

“They sought to force the workers, who had already taken significant wage and benefit cuts, to absorb even greater cuts including the loss of their pension contributions. I have said consistently throughout this process that the BCTGM is a highly democratic organization and that our Hostess members themselves would determine their future. By an overwhelming majority, 92 percent, these workers rejected the company’s outrageous proposal, fully aware of the potential consequences.

“Our members know that the plans all along of the Wall Street investors currently in control of this company did not include the operation of Hostess Brands any longer than it takes to sell the company in whole – or in part – in a way that will maximize the profits of these vulture capitalists regardless of the impact on the workforce.

“The wholesale bread and cake baking business is unique.  The most successful and profitable wholesale baking companies share common attributes, most notably being executive leadership with extensive background in the business and a skilled and dedicated workforce.  Hostess Brands and its predecessor companies have had the latter for decades.

“Unfortunately however, for the past eight years management of the company has been in the hands of Wall Street investors, “restructuring experts”, third-tier managers from other non-baking food companies and currently a “liquidation specialist”.  Six CEO’s in eight years, none of whom with any bread and cake baking industry experience, was the prescription for failure.

“Despite Greg Rayburn’s insulting and disingenuous statements of the last several months, the truth is that Hostess workers and their Union have absolutely no responsibility for the failure of this company.  That responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the company’s decision makers.

“I am sure that our members would be agreeable to return to work as soon as the company rescinds the implementation of the horrendous wage and benefit reductions, including pension, and the restoration of the cuts that have already taken place.”

BACKGROUND

A total of 24 Hostess production facilities are on strike or honoring the strike with picket lines established by striking Hostess workers at other BCTGM-represented facilities.  Additionally, BCTGM members at one transport facility also are on strike.  Company claims that union members are crossing picket lines and maintaining production at striking plants are vastly untrue.

Over the past 15 months, Hostess workers have seen the company unilaterally end contractually-obligated payments to their pension plan.  These workers, many of whom have worked at Hostess and its predecessor companies for decades, struck in response to the company’s unilateral imposition of an unacceptable contract that was rejected by 92 percent of the union’s Hostess members in September.

While the company was demanding major concessions from union workers (wage and benefit cuts amounting to 27- 32% overall), the top ten executives of the company rewarded themselves with compensation increases, with one executive receiving a 300 percent increase.

The BCTGM represents more than 80,000 workers in the baking, food processing, grain milling and tobacco industries in the United States and Canada.

Follow the BCTGM:

Web: www.bctgm.org

Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCTGM

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCTGM

 

 

Hostess Continues Pattern Of Misinformation

Hostess Strike BCTGM

In a desperate attempt to break the solidarity and resolve of striking BCTGM members across the country, Hostess Brands is falsely claiming that its decision to close three of its bakeries — St. Louis, Cincinnati and Seattle — is the result of the nationwide strike against the company by BCTGM members.

In fact, according to the company’s 1113 filing with the bankruptcy court earlier this year as well as its last/best/final and non-negotiable proposal to its BCTGM-represented workers, the company was planning to close at least nine bakeries as part of its reorganization plan, although the company refused to disclose which bakeries it intended to close.  This is in addition to the three bakeries that were to be closed as a result of the company’s planned sale of its Merita division.

Moreover, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was quoted in a November 13 KMOX-CBS St. Louis article stating, “I was told months ago they were planning on closing the site in St. Louis… And there was no indication at that time it had anything to do with the strike the workers were waging.”

BCTGM International Union President Frank Hurt stated, “The recent claim by Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn that our strike is the reason for the closure of the three bakeries is simply not true.  That statement is a continuation of a disturbing pattern by the company of issuing public statements that are erroneous at best and disingenuous at worst.

“Our members rejected the company’s outrageous proposal by 92 percent in September.  Rejection came from every corner of the country.  They were being asked to vote on a proposal with massive concessions, knowing that their plant could very well be one of those to be closed.

“Our members are on strike because they have had enough. They are not willing to take draconian wage and benefit cuts on top of the significant concessions they made in 2004 and give up their pension so that the Wall Street vulture capitalists in control of this company can walk away with millions of dollars.”

Over the past eight years since the first Hostess bankruptcy, BCTGM members have watched as money from previous concessions that was supposed to go towards capital investment, product development, plant improvement and new equipment, was squandered in executive bonuses, payouts to Wall Street investors and payments to high-priced attorneys and consultants.

BCTGM members are well aware that as the company was preparing to file for bankruptcy earlier this year, the then CEO of Hostess was awarded a 300 percent raise (from approximately $750,000 to $2,550,000) and at least nine other top executives of the company received massive pay raises. One such executive received a pay increase from $500,000 to $900,000 and another received one taking his salary from $375,000 to $656,256.

Over the past 15 months, Hostess workers have seen the company unilaterally end contractually-obligated payments to their pension plan. Despite saving more than $160 million with this action, the company continues to fall deeper and deeper into debt.  A mountain of debt and gross mismanagement by a string of failed CEO’s with no true experience in the wholesale baking business have left this company unable to compete or survive.

A total of 24 Hostess production facilities are on strike or honoring the strike with picket lines established by striking Hostess workers at other BCTGM-represented facilities.  Additionally, BCTGM members at one transport facility also are on strike.  Company claims that union members are crossing picket lines and maintaining production at striking plants are vastly untrue.

The BCTGM represents more than 80,000 workers in the baking, food processing, grain milling and tobacco industries in the United States and Canada.

 

Follow the BCTGM:

Web: www.bctgm.org

Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCTGM

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCTGM

Union Workers At Hostess Brand Plants Strike Against Wage Cuts Call For National Boycott

Hostess Strike BCTGM

Image from BCTGM Website

BCTGM Members Initiate National Strike at Hostess Brands

In an inspiring display of courage and conviction, members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) have gone on strike against Hostess Brands beginning Friday, November 9.  Workers at other Hostess plant locations are honoring picket lines established by striking local unions. More plants may strike or honor the strike in other Hostess locations within the coming days.

These workers, many of whom have worked at Hostess and its predecessor companies for decades, struck in response to the company’s unilateral imposition of a horrendous contract that was rejected by 92 percent of the union’s Hostess members in September.

BCTGM Workers from Biddeford Maine Local 334

“Hostess Brands is making a mockery of the labor relations system that has been in place for nearly 100 years.  Our members are not just striking for themselves, but for all unionized workers across North America who are covered by collective bargaining agreements,” states BCTGM International President Frank Hurt.

The contract calls for extreme wage and benefit cuts which amount to 27- 32% overall, with an 8% wage reduction imposed immediately. The company unilaterally ceased making contributions, required by their union contracts, to the workers’ pensions in July 2011. Hostess has also imposed draconian cuts in health benefits and eliminated the eight-hour workday.

Hostess Brands is in bankruptcy for the second time in eight years. Since the first bankruptcy in 2004, BCTGM members across the country have taken dramatic wage and benefit concessions and watched as 21 Hostess plants were shut down and thousands of jobs lost.  At the time of the first bankruptcy, Hostess workers were assured by management that money saved via concessions or plant closings would help make the company stronger, more vibrant, and more competitive.

Instead, helpless Hostess employees watched as money that was supposed to go towards capital investment, product development, plant improvement and new equipment went to executive bonuses and payouts to the hedge funds that own Hostess Brands. They watched as the company illegally withdrew from all Taft-Hartley pension plans, saving more than $50 million in the first five months. The BCTGM learned that the then Hostess CEO was to be awarded a 300% raise, and at least nine other top executives were to receive raises ranging between 35% and 80%.

Since the company ceased making contractually obligated payments to the Hostess workers’ pensions in July 2011, it has pocketed approximately $160 million – money earned by and owed to its dedicated workforce.

Striking members know that the Wall Street investors currently in control of the company have no intention of building a world class wholesale bread and cake company.  They will simply take the money from the workers’ severe concessions and the sale of assets, pay themselves and then liquidate the company.

The company’s business plan, when reviewed by a highly-respected financial analyst retained by the company, was determined to have little or no chance of succeeding in saving Hostess.

The current CEO, Greg Rayburn, was originally brought on as a consultant because of his expertise in corporate liquidations.  He has absolutely no experience running a baking company and the Wall Street investors that own the company have absolutely no interest of rebuilding the baking business.

“Our members have fought hard for decades through the collective bargaining process to build a decent standard of living for themselves and their families. The deplorable actions taken by Hostess would take our members back to the workplace standards of the 1950’s.

“Our members have now said NO to Hostess and the Wall Street investors in the only means available to them, the strike.  The BCTGM International Union stands in full and uncompromising support of our striking members,” concludes Hurt.

The BCTGM represents more than 80,000 workers in the baking, food processing, grain milling and tobacco industries in the United States and Canada.

(NHLN Note: Keep up with the strike at http://bctgm.org/)

UPDATE 11-13-12
Check out the newest information about the Strike
Hostess Continues Pattern Of Misinformation

UPDATED 11-15-12
HOSTESS IN CURRENT CONDITION BECAUSE OF FAILED MANAGEMENT

 

Stand Up Live Better! Wal-Mart Workers Speak Out For Respect

Stand Up Live Better WalMart

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.