“Because they don’t treat me like a human being.”
This Black Friday will be a special one for Walmart as employees from the store plan to strike on retail’s busiest day. Check this video out to find out why–and why we should support them.
Warning: Whatever you do, do NOT read the comments. I’m still kicking myself for it. Transcript here.
This strike follows a cluster of other Walmart strikes across the country over things like unsafe working conditions, sexual harassment, excessive hours, and low pay. Learn more after the jump.
“Employees at 1,000 Walmart stores across the country are planning to strike on Black Friday. The holiday period industrial action comes in the wake of a string of strikes by Walmart workers in several states and involving employees throughout the retailer’s supply chain. As Josh Eidelson noted at the Nation, “seafood workers [went on strike] in June, [followed] by warehouse workers in September, and by 160 retail workers in twelve states last month.”
“Black Friday,” wrote Eidelson, “workers have pledged — barring concessions from the company — will bring their biggest disruptions yet.” Walmart employees across the country have a host of grievances including unsafe and unsanitary working conditions, sexual harassment, excessive hours, forced labor and low pay. Ned Resnikoff at MSNBC flagged a leaked internal document (first obtained by HuffPo) that revealed that base pay at Walmart’s Sam’s Place stores can be as low as $8 an hour (or $16,000 per year), with wage increases in increments as low as 20 or 40 cents per hour. To put this in context, Gawker recently highlighted a Demos study that says that raising the salary of all full-time workers at large retailers to $25,000 per year would lift more than 700,000 people out of poverty, at a cost of only a 1 percent price increase for customers.
Then, when Walmart announced plans to open stores on 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving day — to extend the Black Friday shopping extravaganza in over 1,000 locations — more workers threatened to join the picket lines and strikes kicked off early in some areas.”
Please stand in solidarity with Walmart workers this Friday–and every day.