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Walmart Closing 269 Stores Sends “Chilling Message” to Workers

making change at walmart web logoMaking Change at Walmart (MCAW), the national campaign to change Walmart, released the following statement responding to news that the company will close 269 stores globally, including 154 in the United States. This announcement will affect 10,000 U.S. employees.

“Walmart is a company that, time and again, will say one thing and then do the opposite. Public relations matters more to them than their customers, the community, or their employees, said Jess Levin, communications director for MCAW. While it pretends to value its employees, the reality is, for Walmart, its workers are disposable. Sadly, these latest store closings could very well be just the beginning. This sends a chilling message to the company’s hard-working employees that they could be next – and with no one standing up for them, that is no doubt the reality.”

Levin added: “Now more than ever, Walmart’s workers must work together to change Walmart for the better. Clearly, the livelihoods of all Walmart employees depend on it.”

UFCW Local 400 Applauds Introduction of “Just Hours” Legislation in D.C.

Just Hours L400Last week, Mark Federici, President of UFCW Local 400, which has more than 3,000 members living in Washington, D.C., released the following statement in response to the introduction of the “Hours and Scheduling Stability Act.”

“If you ask anyone who works at a retail store in D.C. how to improve their job, the response is likely to include scheduling. Stable hours and predictable scheduling make it easier for people to plan their future and spend time with their families. Unfortunately, in the interest of maximizing their bottom lines, numerous retail stores in D.C. rely on erratic and last minute scheduling that forces people to work harder and longer and be unaware of their shift until the last moment.

“The Hours and Scheduling Stability Act would begin to curb these abusive scheduling practices by giving retail workers advance notice of their schedules, stopping on-call practices, and promoting full-time work opportunities by offering available hours to current employees before new ones are hired.

“The bottom line is that uncertain work schedules are too common in this city and they’re making it increasingly difficult for people who work at retail stores throughout D.C. to make ends meet.

“The legislation introduced today would go a long way towards ensuring retail workers in D.C. are given the consistent hours and schedules they need to create better lives for themselves and their families.

“We urge the D.C. Council to pass the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act as soon as possible.”

Summary of Bill’s Key Provisions:

 Scheduling with advance notice so that people aren’t living day-to-day:

  • Employers must post schedules 21 days in advance.
  • If an employer initiates a schedule change thereafter, the employee will receive one hour of pay as compensation for the change.
  • If the change occurs within 24 hours of a shift, the employee is awarded four hours of pay.

 Promoting full-time work opportunities so that people have enough hours to make ends meet:

  • Employers will offer available hours to qualified current employees before hiring new employees.

 Stopping abusive “on-call” practices so families can plan their lives:

  • If an employer cancels an employee’s shift or declines to call in an “on-call” employee with less than 24 hours’ notice, the employee will receive four hours of pay.
  • The law already guarantees employees a minimum daily pay of four hours when they report to work – this provision would simply close the “on-call” shift loophole.

 Ensuring equal treatment for hourly employees:

  • An employer may not discriminate against employees of the same job qualification with regard to rate of pay, leave and promotion opportunities regardless of hours worked.

 Who does this legislation apply to?

  • Chain retail employers with at least five establishments nationwide; and chain fast-food and full-service restaurants with at least 20 establishments nationwide.

For more information, please visit the DC Just Hours website.

Making Change at Walmart Launches National “Are You With Us” Campaign

Are You With Us Leaflett Revised VersionMaking Change at Walmart’s national “Are You With Us?” tour will include rallies at Walmart stores and other retail locations in cities in all 50 states across the country in the coming weeks. The kick-off is in Quincy, Mass., on Wednesday, Dec. 2. The tour and campaign are meant to showcase and highlight the negative impact that the country’s largest employer has on all American retail workers, which includes paying employees poverty-level wages, cutting hours and schedules to force workers into part-time jobs and salaries, and insufficient benefit offers.

The “Are You With Us?” grassroots initiative is part of the MCAW 5-week holiday campaign that is seeking to mobilize hard-working Walmart workers and Americans to help change Walmart into a responsible employer. The initiative will include targeted rallies and actions at hundreds of different Walmart stores. The targeted national ad campaign, which includes current and former Walmart workers, will air in over two dozen states.

The ad can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_OLGPsTtU4