According to the Organization United for Respect at Walmart, 1,000 protests occurred at Walmart stores across 46 states, with hundreds of workers walking off the job in an unprecedented decentralized, open-source strike at the retail giant. Nine people, including three Walmart workers, were arrested in Los Angeles for blocking traffic. Local Occupy groups supported actions in dozens of cities. OWS joined with 99 Pickets, ALIGN, the Retail Action Project, and others to show solidarity to Walmart workers in Secaucus, New Jersey. Despite attempts by Walmart's propaganda department to downplay the events, the latest massive wave of strikes and solidarity actions at Walmart forced even the corporate media to pay attention, and put the 1% on notice: When we work together, another world is possible. We do not have to accept poverty, low wages, or unfair working conditions with no benefits while six members of the Walton family are worth more than the bottom 42% of American families combined.
However, the struggle is far from over! Today's inspiring actions point the way forward. Please continue to support OUR Walmart and all low-wage workers in the struggle for economic justice and show support for the courageous workers and unemployed people on the frontlines against income inequality.
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.
It's time to take a stand and support the workers who are standing up to live better through an unfair labor practice strike.
Walmart workers decided to strike on Black Friday after they were targeted for retaliation for speaking out about substandard work conditions and treatment last month in the first ever walk out in the history of the company.
We ask you to help us feed the workers who will walk out on the company next week on the biggest shopping day of the year.
The workers are demanding the following from Walmart:
Improve Workers’ Lives
Pay a minimum of $25,000/year and guarantee quality, affordable health coverage for all Walmart associates and workers in the company’s US distribution chain.
Sign on to a national community benefits agreement that ensures as Walmart expands into new markets, it strengthens communities, protects the environment and is responsible for the well-being of its employees in its retail stores and US supply and distribution chain.
Put Its Promises in Writing
Agree to a global labor agreement guaranteeing the fundamental human right of freedom of association for all of its associates and instruct their suppliers to do the same, and recognize and negotiate with OUR Walmart.
Elevate Global Living Standards
Establish a legally binding global responsible contractor policy requiring contractors and subcontractors to provide living wages, worker safety protections, and respect basic human and labor rights, including freedom of association and freedom from racial and gender discrimination.
How can I support in other ways?
You can join solidarity actions throughout the United States. Find out which solidarity actions are being organized and the store employees that are participating by going to the Corporate Action Network event page.
“The only thing workers have to bargain with is their skill or their labor. Denied the right to withhold it as a last resort, they become powerless. The strike is therefore not a breakdown of collective bargaining-it is the indispensable cornerstone of that process." -- Paul Clark
When a teachers’ strike started to look like a realistic possibility earlier this spring, CPS Chief Communications Officer Becky Carroll warned the readers of Catalyst, “Any talk of a strike is the wrong message to send our schools, students and taxpayers.” For her, and the rest of the privatization evangelists at CPS, the “right” message is simple—shut up and do what you’re told.
Of course, Carroll, who makes $165,000 per year, isn’t paid that kind of money to tell the truth. Luckily for us, neither Chicago teachers nor the larger education community are giving much credence to CPS talking points.
The corporate education “reformers” have been experimenting on Chicago’s most underserved students and schools for more than two decades, trying any quick-fix makeovers so long as such schemes keep the public out of the discussion on how best to educate our city’s children. The so-called innovations taking place in charter and turnaround schools are making chaos of students’ formative years and relegating the art of teaching to rote instruction.
Faced with such a dire situation, the Chicago Teachers Union’s decision to strike is perhaps the best lesson they could have planned—when the powers that be are shutting you out of your life, you must take a stand. And it’s a lesson that teachers themselves learned from the communities they serve.
Before CTU President Karen Lewis and members of the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE) became the new union leadership in 2010, the CTU, like its national union, the American Federation of Teachers, was a willing pawn in the privatization game. CORE broke from the CTU leadership and won respect from the majority of union members by actively supporting parent- and student-led protests at schools across the city. After gaining office, they continued to organize against privatization with the already active education community, and to educate its own members about the importance of doing so.
Chicago students are already at the forefront of the fight. Dyett High School students, along with students from 16 other states, have petitioned the Department of Education to investigate racial disparities in the allocation of school resources. They’ve already met with officials at the Department of Education, and on September 20, they’ll be taking “Freedom Rides” to Washington, D.C., to bring more attention to their cause.
Meanwhile, hundreds of students at Social Justice High School in Little Village have disrupted their school day with sit-ins to protest the dismantling of their school. So CPS shouldn’t worry about the strike giving “wrong” ideas to students—the students are already leading the charge, and are just in their cause.
If anything, they should worry about these students further influencing the CTU. Unlike its portrayal as a selfish bully in the 1% Chicago Tribune, the CORE-led CTU has been a partner to community groups fighting for quality public education. Now, hostile contract negotiations have opened a window for the union to elevate the anti-privatization fight to a national level.
As former CPS CEO Arne Duncan continues to spread the hollow gospel of corporate reform as the nation’s secretary of education, and as his predecessor Paul Vallas preaches the same throughout South America, it’s about time that Chicago, the birthplace of this failed faith, denounces it publicly.
Chicago teachers are likely to strike tomorrow, Monday, September 10th. Please join MORE (Movement of Rank-and-File Educators) and Occupy Wall Street to stand with them in solidarity!
When: Monday, September 10th at 5pm Where: Meet at the south side of Union Square (14th Street)
Teachers in Chicago are striking for increased resources and quality programs for students and fair working conditions for teachers.
MORE sees the Chicago teachers’ fight as part of a growing national resistance movement against corporate-backed education reformers who bash teachers, push high stakes testing, and promote school privatization as solutions to the problems in our public education system. The destructive “reforms” being pushed in Chicago are the same as those we see here in New York.
Come early at 4:30 to make signs. We’ll have some supplies, but folks are strongly encouraged to bring extra poster board and markers. After a rally with speeches from several union activists, we’ll march at 5:30 to the New York office of Democrats for Education reform, a PAC made up of hedge fund managers seeking to profit from school privatization schemes. DFER has sponsored anti-CTU ads and petitions in Chicago and supports pro-charter, pro-reform candidates and policies here in New York. The DFER office is at 928 Broadway between 21st and 22nd Streets.