“Give Back Friday” is First in Series of Holiday Actions to Help Support Workers

Give Back FridayYesterday, the UFCW and Making Change at Walmart officially released a series of holiday actions against Walmart, beginning with a call to action during the week leading up to Black Friday called the “Give Back Friday” initiative.

Give Back Friday is all about helping the hundreds of thousands of hard-working Walmart employees who are paid so poorly that they must rely on assistance from food banks and use food stamps. During this entire Black Friday week, Making Change at Walmart, our progressive partners, and countless other organizations will be hosting food drives in cities across the country the week leading up to Black Friday with a goal to feed 100,000 Walmart workers and families though the holidays.

Locals Unions are asked to share and sign the pledge to donate to a food drive or a food bank in their area. By working together, we can help Walmart workers and their families.


Help us feed 100,000 Walmart workers and families and make sure to post about it using the hashtag #GiveBackFriday and #feedhungryworkers.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of over 100,000 families because no one in America, especially the men and women who work for one of the richest companies in the world, should have go to hungry this Thanksgiving and through the holidays.

OUTreach Press Release in Response to Walmart’s CEI Score from HRC

OUTreach Logo 

For Immediate Release: November 19, 2015

Contact: Amy Gray,



Group calls for changes to Walmart’s high Corporate Equality Index score with the HRC in light of alleged discrimination cases involving LGBTQ workers

(Washington, D.C.) – UFCW OUTreach, the LGBTQ constituency group for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), along with the Making Change at Walmart campaign, released the following statement in response to Walmart’s high Corporate Equality Index score from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Walmart recently received a near perfect score of 90 out of 100 for its Corporate Equality Index score from the HRC. The company received this accolade despite two discrimination suits filed by Walmart workers in the past few months and numerous stories of alleged harassment and discrimination from LGBTQ Walmart workers.

The two suits include the most recent one from Samantha Azzarano, who alleges that she was harassed and then fired from a New Jersey Walmart for being transgender. The other discrimination suit was filed by Jacqueline Cote in Massachusetts, who alleges that she was repeatedly denied when she tried to add her same-sex spouse to her Walmart health insurance.

“It’s disappointing and quite frankly irresponsible that once again HRC has issued Walmart a 90 rating in the Corporate Equality Index. This year alone, Walmart has had to defend itself in two alleged discrimination cases involving LGBTQ workers. How can HRC continue to justify a high rating for a company with this kind of record? The LGBTQ community deserves to know the full truth about Walmart and why they should spend their dollars elsewhere,” said Michele Kessler, President of UFCW OUTreach.

Throughout the year, union members and LGBTQ  advocates have been telling HRC that “enough is enough,” when it comes to the HRC not holding Walmart accountable for all of the accounts of alleged discrimination and harassment experienced by that LGBTQ Walmart workers and their families.

UFCW OUTreach held meetings with HRC staffers in efforts for the organization to create a better and more comprehensive system when it comes to the Corporate Equality Index and stressed the importance of valuing companies with strong union practices. UFCW OUTreach also sent a letter to Chad Griffin, President of the HRC, calling for the organization to suspend Walmart’s high rating in light of Walmart’s stances on citywide legislation in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and statewide legislation in Arkansas, that caused serious setbacks in protections for LGBTQ people in the state.

The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, where Walmart is both a member and has a representative on the Board of Directors, voted unanimously, to support the repeal of a citywide nondiscrimination ordinance that included protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition, Walmart refused to speak out against Arkansas Senate Bill 202 (SB 202), a statewide law which went into effect earlier this year that prevents any jurisdiction from passing an ordinance to ban discrimination.

“Together, we are standing up to the HRC and calling on them to hold Walmart responsible for what is happening to these LGBTQ workers. We will not stop until Walmart changes for the better, and organizations like HRC serve as true allies to LGBTQ workers and discontinue its support for companies that fail in promoting LGBTQ workers’ rights,” said Kessler.

Retail and Walmart Worker Struggles Highlighted During Democratic Debate

replaceableLast month, Making Change at Walmart aired ads during the first Democratic presidential debate with the purpose of bringing the struggles of Walmart workers and retail workers into America’s living rooms. The ads reached over 30 million people, got covered by national media outlets, and the #OurWalmartVoices hashtag was used by thousands on Twitter and Facebook.

In order to keep the issues facing America’s retail workers a centerpiece of the 2016 presidential campaign, the ads aired again during the second Democratic debate and Making Change at Walmart announced an “Are You With Us?” initiative that calls on all presidential candidates to tweet their support for Walmart and retail workers. The ads again were the most talked about of the debate and #OurWalmartVoices was a trending topic during the debate. Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders tweeted the ad, saying that Walmart “has gotta start paying living wages to their workers, not starvation wages.”