Wal-Mart: Protests Are Just Union Stunts
“Ten current or recently fired Walmart workers were arrested in Washington, DC in late August for peaceful civil disobedience near Walmart’s downtown office. This action comes after the company fired or disciplined more than 70 workers for going on strike. Workers announced that if Walmart did not reinstate the illegally fired workers and publicly commit to pay a decent wage by Labor Day, the company will face some of the most intense actions it has seen to date. Labor Day came and went and Walmart is yet to respond, so workers are mobilizing for actions on September 5th.”
– “Making Change at Wal-Mart” petition
Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) employees organized Thursday under union-backed activist group OUR Walmart to call attention to the discount retailer’s failure to respond to the activist-drafted petition asking that the company pay its workers “a minimum real wage of $25,000 annually so they can support a family” and immediately end its “attempts to suppress workers’ rights by reinstating and rescinding punishment of the more than 70 Wal-Mart workers who were unjustly targeted for standing up.”
What exactly Wal-Mart has done in retaliation is a matter of contention between the company and protesters. Several workers have come forward, claiming to have been fired for their participation in demonstrations. As recently as August, a Wal-Mart spokesperson told The Nation that “no associates were disciplined for participating in any specific protests.” There are also two sides to the wage complaint; the company also maintains that the average pay of its workers already is $25,000 annually, plus benefits, as Fox Business reported.