Fighting for people over profits
“I’ve never been part of anything like this before.”
Those are the words of an organizer who arrived at Walmart’s hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas last week , along with nearly 100 Walmart workers from across the US, to peacefully protest at Walmart’s annual investor meeting. They were joined by warehouse workers from Walmart’s supply chain who went on strike last month.
This is the first time that Walmart’s retail workers have ever gone on strike in the corporation’s 50-year history, and momentum is building fast. Workers in Florida, Maryland, Texas, Washington, California, Missouri, Minnesota and Kentucky all walked off the job — bringing the strike to a total of 12 states.
These workers don’t have a union, and they are taking a HUGE risk by going on strike. But if they know that tens of thousands of people are standing with them, it will give them the boost they need to keep up the fight in the face of Walmart’s potential retaliation.
Will you sign our solidarity statement to striking Walmart associates across the country? We’ll deliver those message directly to workers.
This is truly a historic moment to stand with Walmart workers, some of whom traveled on an airplane for the very first time in their lives to go to Bentonville and stand up for their rights.
SumOfUs.org members around the world have been standing with Walmart workers. When warehouse workers walked off the job last month, nearly 100,000 of us signed a petition to Walmart executives supporting their demands. The warehouse workers delivered those petitions to Walmart executives in Illinois, and the next day, they won! Workers who were fired for organizing got their jobs back and received full back pay, and workers have reported that safety conditions have improved. And just last week, we took out ads in all three local Bentonville papers calling on Walmart to stand with workers. Together, we are going toe-to-toe with one of the largest corporations in the world — and we have a real chance of winning.
Walmart is the largest private employer in the world, and workers have long complained of low pay and lack of benefits. Core to its business model has been to bust unions and make sure that workers can’t organize to demand decent wages and fair working conditions. But with workers in 12 states now on strike, Walmart can’t ignore its workers anymore.
Risking your job, next paycheck and livelihood to speak up for what’s right takes courage and strength. As each subsequent worker walks off the job, the power of Walmart workers around the world grows. Signing a card to workers will encourage them, but it will also show Walmart’s bosses that citizen-consumers won’t tolerate their race-to-the-bottom economics anymore.
Use the form to sign our solidarity statement to Walmart workers now.
Walmart’s First-Ever Retail Worker Strike Spreads To 12 Cities. Huffington Post, October 9, 2012.