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New Black Friday Solidarity Materials Available for UFCW Members

UFCWSolidarity2-02-2-300x300As Black Friday approaches it is more important than ever that UFCW members stand together with Walmart workers as they fight to make their jobs better. By standing together in solidarity, UFCW and Walmart workers can send the message that all workers have the right for fair wages and better schedules.

Every step forward for Walmart workers is a step forward for all workers. A new website,www.ufcw.org/solidarity is available with materials to help UFCW members stand in solidarity with Walmart workers. The Solidarity website features videos, a petition, and a place to sign up to attend a Black Friday protest.

Additional Black Friday materials including flyers, share graphics, and talking points are also available. Please contact Amy Gray at agray@ufcw.org if you are interested in additional materials.

Walmart Workers Hold Protests in 10 Countries

Walmart action in India

Walmart action in India

Following historic sit-down strikes in Los Angeles last week, Walmart workers in 10 countries joined American workers’ protests yesterday, calling for change at Walmart. Citing similar concerns, Walmart workers in Brazil, Mexico, the UK, Colombia, Argentina, India, Canada, Switzerland and the US said they were tired of Walmart’s failure to respect basic workers’ rights.

Workers around the world want to expose Walmart’s bad labor practices throughout the company’s stores, warehouses and global supply chain.

“I’m working to build the profits of the richest family on the globe, while putting my safety at risk just to go into work,” said one supply chain worker.  “The Waltons need to see and hear what they are doing to families around the globe.  It’s shameful.”

“I am worried about how I’m going to pay for groceries this week while Alice Walton has paid off a US$200 million luxury condo in New York City,” said Emily Wells, a Walmart worker in the US.  “The Waltons are at the center of the income inequality problems that are hurting the global economy and all of our families.”

According to UNI, The Walton family is worth “$150 billion and grows that wealth by more than $8 million a day.  It would take a Brazilian Walmart worker a total of 30 million years to earn the equivalent of the Walton family’s wealth.”

Yesterday’s protests were a sign of Walmart workers’ growing discontent with the company’s low-road business model. With pressure mounting globally, American workers and their supporters pledge to take action as Black Friday nears. You can get involved by visiting BlackFridayProtests.org.

We Want to Work Full-Time: IKEA Worker Speaks Out

IKEA-300x225

Dan Stillwell, a part-time worker from the IKEA store in Pittsburgh, Pa., spoke to Newshour about barely getting by while working seven days a week.

For thousands of workers in the retail industry, working full-time doesn’t mean the security of a full-time job. Instead, many workers cobble together multiple part-time jobs with no benefits. The result, predictably, is lower wages, fewer benefits, and schedules that make life impossible for families.

But workers at IKEA are coming together in a campaign to change the corporate practices that deny workers full-time positions. The workers have gathered more than 6,000 signatures on a petition asking IKEA to offer every employee a full-time position. The workers have also taken their fight public, most recently giving an interview to PBS’s Newshour.

Dan Stillwell, a part-time worker from the IKEA store in Pittsburgh, Pa., spoke to Newshour about barely getting by while working seven days a week.

As Dan explained to Newshour, “I’d like to have one job with benefits – forty hours – to pay my bills and be able to save up for retirement. Or I won’t be able to stop working until I die.”

Dan works fifty hours each week, but is not eligible for benefits at either of his two part-time jobs. Without benefits, he cannot afford health insurance. After investing 16 years with IKEA, he only makes $9.25 an hour. But Dan’s story is familiar to many retail workers. That is why he joined IKEA workers from across the country to speak out for a union voice at work.

Dan first spoke out in an editorial to a Pittsburgh newspaper. Since then, IKEA workers have been gaining momentum in their push for full-time hours. Last month, workers from IKEA stores across the country traveled to IKEA’s North American headquarters to deliver their petition directly to the company’s top management. Now, media and economists are taking notice of the struggle of workers putting in full-time hours at part-time jobs.

You can watch Dan’s interview on PBS’s Newshour, or read more about his story in an editorial that he published in the Pittsburgh News-Gazette. To show your support for IKEA workers, sign their petition for full-time hours.