We told Walmart: Workers deserve respect

Walmart Strikers in San JoseLast month, employees at 28 different Walmarts all walked out of work simultaneously to stand up for living wages. But last Friday — Black Friday — it got even bigger.

On Wednesday morning, Alameda County parents, child care providers, and community leaders came out to an Oakland Walmart store to highlight ways the company undermines middle-class, living wage jobs.
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Walmart Strikers in San Jose

KQED News reporter Peter John Shuler interviews protesters outside the Walmart on Story Road.

Thousands of Walmart workers and their supporters in San Jose and nationwide protested outside Walmart stores on black Friday. Walmart, the world’s largest private-sector employer, has been exploiting workers for decades, denying adequate hours, benefits and living wages. Finally members of OUR Walmart walked off the job to demand the company treat them with respect and provide a living wage and benefits.

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In San Jose, Walmart will be forced to increase its employees’ pay when the $10 citywide minimum wage goes into effect in early 2013.

In October, for the first time in Walmart’s 50-year history, more than 70 workers at multiple Los Angeles-area Walmarts walked off the job to demand a living wage, affordable healthcare, and respect from their employer. The strikes caused a ripple effect, and soon there were strikes in 12 other cities around the United States. But Walmart refused to listen, even retaliating against their workers.

Last week’s strike marks a crucial turning point for improved working conditions at Walmart – so what happens next? San Francisco State Professor John Logan breaks it down in this article:
After Black Friday’s Day of Action, What’s Next for Wal-Mart?

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