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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.

UFCW Local 23 Members and Other Supporters Join Walmart Workers In PA in #FightFor15 Action

10285696_10152804505069890_8959568085191309777_oYesterday, at a Walmart near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Walmart workers and supporters, many of whom were UFCW Local 23 members, held a protest as part of a growing movement of associates nationwide calling on the Waltons to publicly commit to pay a living wage of $15 an hour and give access to full-time hours for all.

The group turned out to get their message to the Waltons despite the rain, because the workers are tired of this retail giant setting low standards in the grocery and retail industry, and beyond. Some of the protesters also took advantage of the Halloween spirit by dressing up as the Waltons, as a way to portray their wealth.

In the next few weeks, Walmart workers will continue to call on America’s wealthiest family, who has a combined worth of more than 43% of Americans combined, to do the right thing.

To see all the action from the protest, check out Local 23’s facebook album:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152804504914890.1073741864.113818124889&type=1

UFCW Executive Vice President Pat O’Neill Honored for Efforts to Help Walmart Workers

imageLast week, UFCW Executive Vice President Pat O’Neill was honored by the UMass Dartmouth Arnold M. Dubin Labor Education Center during their annual awards banquet.

For 35 years, the center has served “as a bridge between working people, their communities, organizations, and UMass Dartmouth.” Their awards and dinner banquet are one of the largest gatherings of labor leaders and activists in the area.

The Southeastern Massachusetts labor movement joined the center in honoring UFCW Executive Vice President and Director of Organizing Pat O’Neill for his work with the UFCW’s Walmart campaigns.

“I am honored to accept it on behalf of the 1.3 million members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union,” said Pat as he accepted his award.

He continued:

Brothers and sisters, we are at crossroads in the labor movement. There is no sugarcoating it.Workers are struggling to make ends meet. More and more families are falling behind. Income inequality is getting worse. Minimum wage workers are living in poverty. Hard working immigrants are still living in the shadows.

But in too many corners of our movement, labor is trying to address 21st century challenges with 20th century solutions. It is not working. Some will tell you we need more time—that things will get back to normal eventually.

I say if you’re heading toward a cliff at 100 miles an hour, you don’t need more time. You need a change in direction. That is why I am so proud of our dynamic and forward-looking Walmart campaign.

There are those who say Walmart is too big, too entrenched, and too powerful. That we don’t stand a chance against the world’s largest retailer.

Every important battle for justice has had its share of naysayers. It is always easier to analyze than to mobilize.

Here is what I believe—when we stand together and work together and fight together and dream together—there is nothing we cannot achieve. Last week, Walmart workers and their allies sent shockwaves across the country. They shut down Park Avenue in front of Alice Walton’s $25 million penthouse. They set up a blockade of K Street in front of the Walton Family Foundation in Washington, DC. And they delivered thousands of petitions to the Phoenix home of Walmart Chair Rob Walton calling on the company to give workers $15 dollars and full-time hours. The media coverage surrounding these events was substantial and a clear message was sent to the Walton family and Walmart executives: workers will not be pushed around.”

UFCW Locals 1455 and  328 were in attendance to support Pat as well.