Stand in Solidarity with Walmart Workers this Black Friday!

If you want to do a mitzvah this Black Friday, please consider joining the growing movement that is demanding that Walmart treat its employees with human dignity and pay them a livable wage.

Emboldened by news from Walmart CEO that hundreds of thousands of Walmart workers are paid less than $25,000 a year, Walmart workers and supporters announced plans today for protests on Black Friday (November 29). Workers are demanding that Walmart to commit to improving labor standards, providing workers with more full time work at $25,000 a year and to put an end to illegal retaliation.

Today’s announcement follows revelations this week that many Walmart workers don’t have enough money to cover Thanksgiving dinner for their families, as well as the historic federal government finding that Walmart has been violating workers’ rights nationwide. In the meantime Walmart is the country’s largest retailer and employer, making more than $17 billion in profits, with the wealth of the Walton family totaling over $144.7 billion – equal to that of 42% of Americans.

Check out the new online video, above, in which the OUR Walmart campaign member Martha Sellers discusses employee’s struggles to get by on Walmart’s low pay. The video includes incredulous reactions from the media to the news that employees – not the company – are coming together to donate food to those who can’t afford a Thanksgiving dinner on their Walmart wages.

Over the past month, there have been exciting grassroots Walmart actions across the country, including the largest-ever civil disobedience against the retail giant in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, Ohio and Dallas. On Black Friday last year, 30,000 Americans called for the country’s largest employer to change at over 1,000 stores in 46 states. This year is set to be even bigger, with experts like Occidental College professor Peter Dreier already calling Black Friday 2013 a “day for the history books” and a “major turning point in American history, similar to the Flint sit-down strikes of 1937.

Click here for information about a Walmart action near you (or to register one). Click here to sign an online petition started by Walmart employee Charmain Givens-Thomas that calls on President Obama to meet with strikers to “hear firsthand why they are appealing for respect and calling on Walmart to pay them enough to feed and support their families.”

I’ll see you in the streets this Black Friday!

9 thoughts on “Stand in Solidarity with Walmart Workers this Black Friday!

  1. Sallie Gratch

    Thanks Brant for your encouragement…..we’ll be at 2844 N. Broadway at 9 AM on Black Friday! Anyone need a ride from Evanston?

  2. Steve Hinman

    I live in a neighborhood with a Walmart, a Jewel, and a Whole Foods. The Walmart appears to be mostly frequented by people who can’t afford Jewel, much less Whole Foods. While paying people more is certainly a worthy goal, I’m afraid most of the cost of this would be borne through higher prices paid by those least able to afford them.

    Also, left out of the calculation of pay is the total value a Walmart employee receives. I know many people don’t want to hear it, but a Walmart employee is learning how a business is run by one of the top performing businesses in the world. It is a valuable skill to have…the person who sticks with it and moves up into a management position at Walmart has valuable skills to sell in the labor market.

    Another issue is that as labor prices go up, employers tend to buy less labor. Thomas Sowell has done very interesting work showing that the unemployment rate among young American-Americans has been correlated with increases in the minimum wage. When the minimum wage was above the natural market price, unemployment for the young goes way up. When minimum wage was below the natural market price, unemployment among young African-Americans was quite low. In other words, if an employee can only produce $7 in value to the employer, but it costs $8 to employ them, they will not be hired.

    1. Lesley Williams

      Costco is a major nationwide retailer providing affordable prices while paying decent wages…because the CEO has committed to not paying himself and his management team outrageous salaries. There is no reason Walmart could not do the same. As for training African American workers, what about all those discrimination suits against Walmart for not promoting women and minority workers, and for unequal pay?

  3. Jordy

    The greed of the Walton famliy is beyond any scale known…they put small business out at every location they go into…they bleed their suppliers…and of course they take every advantage possible from their employees…if they can bleed even 10 dollars a day from 250 k..thats10 times 250k…every day…they do that off the clock..along with underpaying their workers…on the clock….the American public is blind and deaf…anything to save a buck…I never shop in a Walmart and never will…maybe if we all work together on this ….?..something can be done….it’s like fighting a gigantic monster with a pea shooter…this is a cause that deserves all our support…..

  4. Jordy

    One other thing..Walmart has a program to help their employees to get onto Medicaid…which is paid for by the American taxpayers..pure greed


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