Wal-Mart Strikes Worried Management and Interested Anonymous
Explaining in the above video statement that,“It has come to the attention of the Anonymous Collective that the business practices of the Wal-Mart Corporation are detrimental to democracy and economic prosperity worldwide,” the group declared that Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) should “expect us.” Anonymous, the informal hacker collective that often targets groups or countries it sees as enemies of Internet or personal freedom, argued that despite recording “massive profits,” the retailer has claimed to be unable to pay its workers a living wage. The $8.75 per hour Wal-Mart pays its starting sales associates — a figure corroborated by GlassDoor — amounts to an annual income of just $18,200 before taxes, the video claims, which is significantly lower than the $19,530 after-tax dollars the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says is necessary to support a small nuclear family.
With that description of Wal-Mart’s “detrimental” business practices as the backdrop, Anonymous announced that, “In the spirit of solidarity with our fellow activists and the working poor,” the hacker group was “prepared to use full might of the collective in defense of the working class until Wal-Mart is willing to give its workers fair pay for fair work.” Its offensive will continue until the corporation changes its labor practices so that all full-time workers are paid at least $11 per hour and receive basic health benefits.
Wal-Mart’s labor practices have taken a hold of the national consciousness; last year, the issue of implementing a living wage was first passed by the city council of Washington D.C. and then vetoed by Democratic Mayor Vincent C. Gray, and a wave of strikes by Wal-Mart workers from Black Friday 2012 through 2013 put the the condition of America’s low-wage, non-union workers in the limelight. It would seem that Wal-Mart — the world’s largest private employer — is concerned by all the attention its labor practices have received. Not only did the company allegedly fire approximately twenty employees for staging the November 2012 strikes and discipline scores of other participants, it appears Wal-Mart has begun to train store managers on how to discuss the question of union organization with other workers.