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We are the 99 percent

Acting In Solidarity On Black Friday

Posted 9 years ago on Nov. 21, 2012, 5:47 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: solidarity, walmart, black friday

Walkout on Walmart!

via Sarah Jaffe:

To make a mess that another person will have to deal with—the dropped socks, the toothpaste sprayed on the bathroom mirror, the dirty dishes left from a late-night snack—is to exert domination in one of its more silent and intimate forms. -Barbara Ehrenreich, in “Made to Order,” an essay from the anthology Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy, co-edited with Arlie Russell Hochschild

[This quote is] relevant to an argument I just had about “disruptive” protest at Walmart in supposed solidarity with the Black Friday strikes. Picket, protest, march and rally all you want, hold a sit-in, but please, before you do things like deliberately create a mess in the store or leave a full cart in the checkout line, consider who’s going to have to clean up the mess that you make. It’s not going to be Rob Walton or any of the other multibillionaires. It won’t even be the assistant manager. It’ll be the same low-wage worker who maybe wanted to go on strike but wasn’t quite convinced, or who was threatened by their boss, who’s working an extra-long shift on the worst shopping day of the year.

Solidarity doesn’t mean you decide for yourself what is best for the workers. It means showing up in the ways they need and want you to and letting them decide how to build worker power.

We ask you to reflect on the statement issued by workers and Making Change at Walmart as you plan your Black Friday solidarity action:

Across the country, Walmart employs 1.4 million people. We are not just the Associates that you see in stores, we are moms and dads, sons and daughters, husbands and wives working hard to support our families.

We have been speaking out for good jobs with decent pay, regular hours, affordable healthcare and respect, but instead of working with us to make changes, Walmart has attempted to silence us and has retaliated against us for speaking out. Our jobs have been threatened, our hours cut, our schedules changed. Some of us have even been fired.

We will not be silenced. Throughout the holiday season, including Black Friday, we will be standing up for an end to the retaliation against workers who speak out for what’s right for our families, our communities and our country, and we hope that you will stand with us. It is not an easy decision, but without an end to the retaliation, Walmart workers across the country will be walking off the job in protest, and we hope you will join us in creative, non-violent action in solidarity with our strike. We ask that supporters take action that spreads the word about our strikes and demonstrates to Walmart a wave of support for workers who are speaking out.

Together, we are calling on Walmart to end the retaliation against hard-working employees who are courageously speaking out for better pay, fair schedules and more hours, affordable health care and respect.

We will not be silenced until we see real change at Walmart.

Sincerely, OUR Walmart Workers

editors note: please consider supporting the Walmart Strikers Food Fund



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[-] 5 points by Nevada1 (5843) 9 years ago


[-] 4 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 9 years ago

Wal-Mart is illegally anti-union. They push so much propaganda on their workers.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23644) 9 years ago

I could swear WalMart has some workers logged in here voting down all the comments that shine a light on the evils of WalMart. I am busy voting those comments up, lol.

[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3340) 9 years ago

Walmart's working practices need close scrutiny - http://www.nationofchange.org/wal-mart-accused-threatening-workers-retaliation-ahead-black-friday-protests-1353515423 - Solidarity!

Happy holidays to you and yours. Never Give Up! Occupy Thanksgiving!

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23644) 9 years ago

Yes, the power that the capitalist system gives to employers over employees must be curtailed. It is out of control. Solidarity to workers everywhere! Stick up for yourselves and don't give up!

And, Happy Thanksgiving, A4C!

[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3340) 9 years ago

From Robert Reich - http://www.nationofchange.org/why-you-shouldn-t-shop-walmart-friday-1353573266 - not that you ever would have of course :) Never Give Up! I'm Occupying the kitchen stool as the team finish making an excellent Thanksgiving lunch so I'm happy. Keep Occupying Thanksgiving & Solidarity!

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23644) 9 years ago

Robert Reich is a warrior for the 99%, and, not to mention, a brilliant economist. Thanks for the link.

[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3340) 9 years ago

'The widening inequality reflected in the gap between the pay of Walmart workers and the returns to Walmart investors, including the Walton fammily, haunts the American economy.' - taken from the article and so true. Reich sure packs a punch as a writer and a 'warrior'! Solidarity and Go Occupy! Never Give Up!

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23644) 9 years ago

That is a great excerpt from the article and the crux of the matter, isn't it? Go Occupy!

[-] 0 points by JPB950 (2254) 9 years ago

Assuming the problem is capitalism, aren't you directing your protest at the wrong entity then? Walmart does nothing more then use the system under which it grew. It's only legal obligation is to the stockholders, not anyone's idea of fairness.

The jobs it offers require little to no skill and they only have to offer minimum wage in a market with a surplus work force. Unless you can convince a majority of people that paying more for goods is somehow in their best interest or convince government to raise the minimum wage I believe this fight is nothing more than an annoyance for Walmart at best.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23644) 9 years ago

Everything April says below is correct. In addition, these corporations have bought our government which enables them to control the laws under which we all live and how our economic system is organized to benefit them.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 9 years ago

They may or may not have bought the government, but that only makes it the fault of voters. The public seems to repeat the same basic mistakes. They allow themselves to stay uninformed and to be misled by political ads at election time or they reelect a corrupt official because he or she comes through with "free" stuff for them. The nation has the government it deserves.

Until something approaching a majority actually believe something is wrong with the system and takes positive action nothing is going to change. Walmart and Target don't care one way or the other about people, and the sad reality is few people expect them to.

These stores are a symptom, even if you can fix Walmart you've only glossed over the real problem. The public simply wants the lowest price, a variation on the same selfishness that drives corporations. People, the majority of them at any rate, shop to get the best deal they can for themselves. Not to bring equity to the world.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23644) 9 years ago

You make some good points there. I agree that people vote against their own interests all the time. A factor of MSM, blind nationalism, and a poor education system that fails to teach kids to think for themselves.

[-] 3 points by Buttercup (1067) 9 years ago

Walmart uses more than capitalism. And I use that term (capitalism) loosely. It uses the government to increase it's profits. Society is paying the price. Not directly. But indirectly. Because when Walmart doesn't pay it's workers a living wage, and those workers are forced to rely on government programs (ie: Medicaid and other welfare assistance) - we're paying for that. Walmart profits by shifting cost to the government. Taxpayers pay. Society pays.

It's really a fabulous business model on so many levels. Shift cost to the government to increase profitability. Drive down wages, setting new 'competitive' lows for the industry. Mass market peddling of cheap crap from China, so that workers whose jobs have been outsourced to China, can now only afford to shop at Walmart with their welfare checks. Massive size and scale that eliminates competition and monopolizes communities. Further driving down wages. It's a race to the bottom.

Convincing people to shop elsewhere will be difficult. But Walmart being annoyed is better than Walmart not being annoyed.


[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 9 years ago

Who knows, I may very well be wrong and the protests result in some progress. I simply see people as shopping for price, convenience, and/or quality. It's rare to get all three, usually at least one of those is sacrificed. The real problem, as I see it, is that there aren't more then a handful of people that shop with social justice in mind. It's unfortunate, but the majority just don't care about equity, as long as they feel they are getting a good deal. I see the big box stores as a symptom not the cause of our problems. The real problem is that the majority of people are every bit as selfish as the corporations are. As long as this is the case nothing will actually change.

[-] 3 points by Coyote88 (-24) 9 years ago

Economic disruption can work!

[-] 1 points by Kinetica (14) from Houston, TX 9 years ago

Roger that!

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 9 years ago

I've boycotted CVS in CA because it has no union

sort of a bother since it's 2 blocks from me

[-] 0 points by proudofOKC (361) 9 years ago

It may be quite cumbersome indeed. I didn't know they did not have a union. Now if Walgreens also does not have unions then I'm screwed.

[-] 1 points by Kinetica (14) from Houston, TX 9 years ago

Let's hope that this goes far.

[-] 1 points by henrylowery (4) 9 years ago

i am thankful for being at home this thankgiving last year i was on k street i will stand with the walk out workers of walmart i have been ban from most walmarts for doing to many returns i have not shop their for many years what happen to the middle class walmar

[-] 1 points by henrylowery (4) 9 years ago

what happen to the middle class ? Walmart

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Tweeted - please people forward and share/circulate this post. A step towards a living wage for all and a stronger society for ALL for it's being done.


[-] 0 points by Peeka (0) 9 years ago

One source of these problems is that the owners, shareholders, and all levels of management are separated from the people that do the actual work that results in a business's success. A person can direct all they want and think that they are in control and still have no idea what the real job entails. I've seen this too many times. I recommend that owners, shareholders, and all levels of management do actual low level employee work on holidays, weekends, and on 3rd shift. Owners, managers, and shareholders that cannot do their low level employee's jobs should forfeit their "pay (what they make)" for the hours they "could not" do such jobs; e.g. a manager who makes $200/hour and can't do a 3rd shift job, refunds 8hrsX$200=$1600 to the employee payroll accounts. If they successfully do their low level employee's job, then they receive what their employee receives for doing that job. Successfully receiving such a low pay amount will drive home how low the worker's pay really is and may result in wage adjustments.

[-] 0 points by therising (6643) 9 years ago

The message is breaking through again to capture the attention of mainstream press and the general public! There is something about this Walmart strike that resonates with people.... That's bad news for the corporate schmucks that are trying to hold the line and keep thing under wraps.

See this link for 1 minte video of CNN ANCHOR CONFRONTING WALMART SPOKESMAN ON LOW WAGES: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/20/carol-costello-cnn-walmart_n_2167213.html?utm_hp_ref=business

Also, see this post on how Walmart bites the hand that feeds it: http://occupywallst.org/forum/biting-the-hand-that-feeds-you-walmart-harley-davi/#comment-879895