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We are the 99 percent

Give to the Walmart Organizer Fund, Support the Black Friday #WalmartStrikers!

Posted 11 years ago on Nov. 22, 2012, 9:04 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: solidarity, labor, walmart

Festive picket line wearing costumes and holding sign reading "Stand Up! Live Better! Unfair Labor Practice / Strike!" -- via @ForRespect
Picket line happening right now in Miami! -- other actions, including walk-outs, have already begun in Ohio, California, Maryland, New York, Florida, Texas, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Dakota, Alabama, and growing as of 11pm Eastern time! See below for info on following live updates

We are reaching out to you today to see if you would consider supporting the Walmart workers who are being unfairly fired for organizing their peers.


Why should I support the workers?
Getting fired for demonstrating is a scary thing. We at the Occupy Solidarity Network would like to help alleviate that worry for anyone who is fired in retribution for organizing or demonstrating at Walmart. Walmart workers decided in October 2012 to strike on Black Friday after they were targeted for retaliation for speaking out against substandard work conditions and treatment in the first ever walk out in the history of the company. Now we are looking at a world in which the bravest workers of Walmart are being fired so they may be silenced.

We will support the workers participating in organizing efforts and nonviolent demonstrations in support of the fight for economic civil rights of the Walmart worker effort. Money raised will go towards paying stipends and living expenses for workers fired for organizing and participating in acts of peaceful civil disobedience.

Click here to support the Walmart organizers today!
Click here to donate to the Walmart Workers Food Fund!

people holding lit-up letters spelling out "respect the workers" in front of a walmart
#walmartstrikers solidarity in Kenosha, WI from overpass light brigade

To find a walk-out/picket line near you, see here. For live coverage, follow @ForRespect, @ChangeWalmart, and #WalmartStrikers on Twitter.

You can also support the strike and show your solidarity on social media using Thunderclap or sign this petition from Jobs With Justice.

More social media resources:

Past articles for more information on supporting Walmart workers and the Black Friday Strike:

Walmart workers on strike

More info via Making Change @ WMT (see original link for sources)

For over a year, Walmart workers and workers throughout Walmart’s supply chain have been coming together to speak out for change. They have called on the company to ensure safe working conditions, adequate hours, sufficient staffing, a living wage, regular schedules, and above all, respect in the workplace.

Time and time again, Walmart has sought to silence and retaliate against those who speak up.

The message is clear -- we won't tolerate this any longer. By joining our Thunderclap, you're standing up alongside Walmart workers nationwide in a virtual Black Friday picket line. Your presence is powerful, and we hope you'll ask others to join you.

A few facts on the Walmart economy:

  • Walmart is the largest private employer in the U.S.

  • $408.2 billion - Walmart’s 2010 revenue as the number one Fortune 100 company

But America is paying the price…

  • 196,000 - Number of U.S. jobs lost from 2001-2006 as a result of Walmart’s imports from China

  • 11% - Conservative estimate of percentage of Walmart’s share of U.S. Trade Deficit with China

  • $8.8 million - Cost to Massachusetts of Walmart associates using publicly subsidized health care in 2009

  • $1 billion - Cost to nation if public safety net use by Walmart associates in Massachusetts is adjusted nationwide

And Walmart associates are paying the price…

  • $15,500 - Average annual salary of a Walmart sales associate (based on an IBIS World figure)

  • $8.81 - Average hourly wage of a Walmart sales associate (based on an IBIS World figure)

  • 46¢ - Additional cost per shopping trip for a Walmart customer if the company offered a minimum wage of $12 an hour

Walmart makes close to $16 billion in profits and its executives brought home more than $10 million each. Six members of the Walton family, who own half the company, are worth more than the bottom 42% of American families combined. Those profits are made by keeping all workers in poverty.

This year, on Black Friday, we're calling on Walmart to immediately end its illegal retaliation against Walmart workers.

See also: Walmart Strike! Links to background, analysis and action for videos and more.



Read the Rules
[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 11 years ago

Right on! Strikes underway in 7 states. Up to date info at https://twitter.com/search?q=%23walmartstrikers .

Here's a PDF of internal Walmart document that was only supposed to be shared with salaried managers. It tells them how they're supposed to handle walk outs, protests, etc. Fascinating reading: http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/Walmart-2.pdf

Article on Walmart getting welfare: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/10/1141724/-Walmart-fuels-inequality-epidemic-taking-advantage-of-our-safety-net

Photo of HUGE line of protesters outside Laurel, MD Walmart: https://mobile.twitter.com/Sara_Jeans/status/271978288019288064/photo/1

CNN anchor confronting Walmart spokesman on low wages (pretty remarkable actually!): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/11/20/carol-costello-cnn-walmart_n_2167213.html?utm_hp_ref=business

Full interview with even more aggressive questioning of Walmart VP by CNN anchor: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/11/20/1221081/cnn-confronts-wal-mart-spokesperson-over-retailers-low-salaries-poor-working-conditions/?mobile=wt

  • PS - Someone just tweeted that dialing *71 on any in store phone at Walmart gets you on the full public address system for entire building.
[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

Support Occupies worker efforts.


We need each other

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

Currently there are more workers then jobs. You can protest and complain about fairness all day long, but these are low and no skill jobs, unless you can somehow shrink the pool of surplus workers or convince government to raise the minimum wage it seems like you're wasting your time.

The source of the problem isn't Walmart, it's government and human nature. I don't do Black Friday, the little shopping i do, I do on line. The typical consumer though will always go for the lowest price, not the most fair retailer.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago
[-] 0 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

Anyone is free to try to get paid as much as they can, they may strike if they wish. They fill positions involving little or no skill in an industry that has and can deal easily with rapid turnover. The workers have to accept the reality that they can easily be replaced. If they wish to take the risk, be my guest, strike.

As with Walmart, some in the public may pay lip service to some ideal of a living wage. That is only going to hold true until the public learns that they have to pay for the increase. The reality is that many in the public don't see these positions as "real" jobs and a majority would be unwilling to pay for the higher wages through an increase in prices.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Raising wages of low wage workers does not have to translate into highe priced goods/services. That is myth perpetrated by the greedy corp 1% plutocrats.


They could also raise wages and just take a little less profit. imagine that?

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

Raising wages doesn't have to translate into higher prices if the assumptions made in your article are right. The retailer has to be willing to take a financial hit now in the hope that sales will increase as predicted. They may not be willing to do that.

It would also seem to require all retailers to offer higher wages. Any hold out could reap the benefit of more consumer spending if it was the only one to pay its employees less.

Since profit is the main motivation for business, I would assume that the point of view in the article you linked to is simply not believed by many of the CEO's out there. They are greedy, if they believed they could make more by paying employees more, they would.

Sure boards of directors could take in less profit, but there is no requirement to do so. Currently there is only a legal responsibility to make as much of a profit for stockholders as possible. You're looking for moral behavior in a world where most individuals and businesses act out of self interest.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

You offer excellent logic to give up and not fight for a living wage for these decent hard working Americans.

I'm gonna have to say that we should try regardless of the facts you offer.

Perhaps we must simply convince these greedy corp 1% plutocrats that it IS in their self interest to increase their workers pay.

I recommend continued growing strikes & boycotts.

Whatta ya think. Is that worth a try? Or should we give up.?

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

You fight for what you believe in. As in any negotiation, you ask for everything and often end up compromising, but would get nothing at all if you didn't make the attempt. In fast food, the risk is greater and the overall task more difficult because the typical employee is young (70% are between 16 and 20) and doesn't stay long with the company (fast food has the shortest average employee tenure at 2.3 years). The typical employee doesn't see it as a career, but as something you can do until you find a career.

Personally, I don't mind participating in a losing battle, if I believe in the cause. I don't go to a fast food establishment of any sort more then once or twice a year, so supporting a boycott is an empty gesture from me. In my opinion, the jobs at fast food places simply are not worth that much to society. I could argue that they do as much harm as good for society. Would it even be a good thing for society if fast food workers were encouraged by higher wages to stay in that job longer or actually make it a career?

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Sign in support of workers


The protest is over but the battle rages on.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

You question whether it is good society for these workers to fight for better wages because the food is unhealthy?

I certainly agree with the unhealthy damage to society, like you I rarely have fast food.

However, it never crossed my mind to not support the workers right to protest for better wages. I think we should fight for healthier food at the establishments but still support the decent hard working Americans.

Unrelated: Please support the effort against Indef Detention.



[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Corps sending jobs overseas are the cause of fewer jobs. Unions advocate for middle class workers. (like you advocate for the wealthy!)

[-] -1 points by mapleLaneser (-120) 11 years ago

You claim that unions are the "advocates" for people, maybe that is why there is only around 17% of unions in the workforce today, because they are so popular. Just like the dinosaur, unions are also becoming extinct. One day Trumka will probably be a greeter at Walmart

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

LOL. That's funny. You should have your own show!

Unions have been busted, destroyed in an effective concerted effort by right wing corp shills for 4 decades. Accelerated by Reagans air traffic controller firings.

Workers have been lied to and convinced with those lies that unions are bad. So now we have stagnant wages and rampant outsourcing.

Workers are squeezed and exploited by corp 1% oligarchs because we let the right wing destroy the voice of the worker.

If & when that voice is returned our unions will fight for higher wages, & bringing jobs back from overseas.

[-] -3 points by mapleLaneser (-120) 11 years ago

In the past I have been in a few union shops. What I observed is that the union protected mainly the no good lazy worker(s). Unions wanted more dues $$$ for themselves so they would pressure the workers to pry for a raise. When the company disagreed with the raise demand then the workers would stand outside the plant and cry and stomp their feet until their demands were met. Kind of a pathetic viscous circle.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I disagree! Those are the right wing lies that are spewed to malign the decent hard working union workers that fought and died for the 40 hrwork, week, child labor laws, good wages, holidays off, Worker safety. And more.

You are dishonest! You have never experienced the union activity you claim.

[-] -2 points by mapleLaneser (-120) 11 years ago

United paper workers union for 13 years and UAW for 3 years. Both plants I was working as an industrial electrician and I believe they both went belly up because of the unions. I am working in a non-union shop right now (Caterpillar) as a robot tech

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

They went belly up because of mismanagement. Funny how they 'built it' when a corp does well & they always blame someone else when they go bankrupt. LOL Please!

I don't believe your right wing propaganda! I will always side with the decent hard working Americans being exploited and squeezed by the 1% corp oligarchs.

You always stand for the opposite.

[-] -3 points by mapleLaneser (-120) 11 years ago

Unions continue to turn companies into giant parking lots

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Traitorous Corp greed & mismanagement is shipping jobs overseas & turning companies into parking lots and cities into wastelands.

Corp 1% oligarchs are the problem. After all when these corps go under the execs always get away with the loot! That is the best way to measure who is the con artist (criminal). The people who get screwed and left with no money (workers) are the victims of that corp 1% criminal greed. Not the cause.

You gotta stop believing that right wing 'blame the victim' propaganda.

Stop drinking the kool aid! Stop speaking against the decent hard working American worker! Stop advocating against your own class!

And can I ask. What about all those non union corps that go bankrupt.?

Is it ever managements fault?. I guess they only take credit when things go well. Dishonest bastards!

[-] -2 points by mapleLaneser (-120) 11 years ago

As I stated in another comment I currently work for caterpillar (non-union) and it is a good place to work. You are given a raise on your work ethics and attendance and not given a raise because you have not earned it (union) Unions for the most part love lazy ass workers

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

That is bullshit anti union right wing lies.

You stand with corp 1% oligarchs destroying the labor of America.

You have no honor.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Huh? Not a complete sentence! Are you stroking?. Or is the right wing robotroll overloading.?


"does not compute" "unions bad" "corps good" "mismanagement never happens" "beeep, bzzzp, does not compute" "must shut down" " re evaluate" "new input required" "not compute, shutting down"


[-] -2 points by mapleLaneser (-120) 11 years ago

typo and fixed it

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

Yes, but only the parking lot of your brain.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

The real issue with a boycott of Wallyworld is their positioning in rural areas where they have become the only game in town, after "forcing" all the Mom and Pop locals out of business years ago.

Talk about Stockholm Syndrome............Forced, of course.

[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 11 years ago

It's like a natural instinct.

Big and flashy but dangerous & destructive.

[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 11 years ago

No doubt. They made their money destroying small town America.

All the more reason to boycott where we can.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

I've only set foot in one once and that was a decade ago.

I didn't like them even before I knew what they'd done.

[-] -3 points by mapleLaneser (-120) 11 years ago

The big three unions did the same thing for their workers. The workers would piss and moan on the street corner day after day until the company would agree to their request. Who benefited from it the most?? the power grabbing unions did

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Unions are being busted and destroyed by your corp 1% oligarchal criminals. So no Unions have not benefitted.

You are dishonest. You speak for the criminals moving our jobs overseas.

You are a traitor to your own class, and this nation. You have NO HONOR!

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 years ago

A parking lot, completely devoid of the vehicles of thought.

How unfortunate for you.

[-] 1 points by henrylowery (4) 11 years ago

is their a picket line i can join in the orlando area kirkman road

[-] 0 points by fuchschristian (2) 11 years ago

What's the role of social media in strikes? Please participate in the OccupyMedia! survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WG7JRG2 https://www.facebook.com/OccupyMediaSurvey?ref=hl

[-] -2 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

I didn't think they would go through with it, honestly. I am so happy they have. I hope this sends a clear message not only to walmart, but the rest of the working class as well. The message I hope people get from this, "it's not ok to let yourself be taken advantage of, stand up for yourself".

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

How about a message to the corp 1% oligarchs that they should not take advantage of the workers.

Why are you quiet on the corp responsibility here?

[-] -2 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

lol, if crooks had it in them to learn empathy and other benevolent personality traits, don't you think they would have learned it already? Unfortunately the onus is on us to make a stand and make the change.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

The onus is on us to tell all 1% oligarchs squeezing workers that THEY are wrong! The onus is on us to scream the message loud and proud so all within hearing are warned.

Exploiting decent, hard working Americans is immoral! Have no concern if "crooks have it in them to learn" That is a sorry excuse not to blame the crooks! LOL SCREAM it because it is right to scream it. Because it MUST be screamed and heard. For all those business leaders on the fence, or starting out, or considering a business.

Make sure they know if they do the same they WILL be called out.

Nothing wrong with a little town square humiliation. In fact it is required.

No protection for the crooks! They gotta be told. And we gotta tell them. Just like all strikers are telling them.

That's is who I stand with. Strikers telling the crooks they gotta stop exploiting workers!

" LET yourself be taken advantage of,"? Whaaaaaaat? No blaming the victim here boss! Get in line. The corp 1% oligarchs exploiting the workers need the message!

[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

Lose the party references but keep the fire. You're almost there.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Ok. I might be able to lose the party reference. Where is this alleged reference? You let me know and I might be able to edit it out.

[-] -2 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

Not on this thread, but on one of your comments. The problem is that when you use labels, your point falls on deaf ears if those ears are attached to someone under that label. So you end up with an echo chamber and only those who agree and are not under that label will listen. BUT! The fire, the conviction, the confidence. This is what people need to hear, it's what they need to feel.

Making points on party is habitual, so it comes through even when you don't notice. By training yourself to not use those labels, you won't inadvertently alienate your listeners, and the fire shines through.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Riiiight! Well if you wanna point out an instance where I use a party I'll be glad to review.

But I'm glad you acknowledged that I haven't here.

[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

I'm just saying, I like your current direction. Even if we don't see eye to eye, I can still acknowledge the positive and pay compliment. Respect doesn't require agreement.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Great. I welcome all support for the workers of America. Thanks!

And if you see a party ref and feel like mentioning it I will review it.