OUR Walmart planning a huge strike on Black Friday, demands higher wages
OUR Walmart is planning a huge strike on Black Friday. Employees at Walmart stores across at least six states in the US will be striking on the busiest shopping day of the year.
The protest is in regard to workers’ wages and hours. It will be the third year in a row that Walmart employees carry out a strike on Black Friday, but this year could be the largest.
The employee labor group, called OUR Walmart, announced earlier in the month that workers across the US would be walking out because of “illegal silencing of workers who are standing up for better jobs.”
Several of America’s largest labor unions are supporting OUR Walmart, including the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumska said that “the entire labor movement will proudly stand with the brave workers at Walmart as they lead the largest mobilization to date for better wages and schedules.”
Adding that “their courage is inspiring and powerful in the fight for all workers.”
Employees are calling for a living wage of $15/hr and access to full time hours. Currently the majority of Walmart workers are paid less than $25,000 a year.
According to a petition by OUR Walmart:
“While Rob, Alice and the rest of the Waltons are by far the richest family in America, many of the Walmart workers who helped to build that fortune are struggling just to get by. Workers at Walmart are looking for fair shot, but the silver-spooned Walton family is robbing them of a decent living.”
The labor union’s previous efforts managed to boost minimum wages for Walmart’s lowest paid workers.
Barbara Gertz, a Walmart associate from Colorado, said in a press release:
“Walmart’s low pay business model isn’t working for our families, for our customers and for the company, but change is possible,”
“Walmart needs to listen to workers like us about how to fix these problems by adding hours and improving pay so that we can get the job done. Threatening and firing us for speaking out about how to improve the stores is illegal and shortsighted. That’s why I’m going on strike on Black Friday and why so many of my co-workers are joining me.”