November 24, 2012

Saturday Walmart update

Huffington Post In 100 cities across 46 states Thursday and Friday, the protesters were likely to be met by honks and fist pumps from cars as they waved signs and chanted outside Walmart stores. At the Walmart in Paramount, Calif., near Los Angeles, about 600 protesters, including an estimated 100 Walmart workers, turned out Friday morning. In Hanover, Md., 400 store employees, union workers, activists and other supporters showed up at a Walmart Supercenter Friday. Given their goal of raising awareness among shoppers about low pay, lack of benefits and what they call Walmart's pattern of punishing workers who try to organize, strikers said their events were a success.

But whether deal-hungry shoppers will support the strikers' cause with more than just kind words is another question, and one that will be crucial in determining whether the actions have a real impact on America's labor conditions. While most shoppers interviewed in the Dallas area said they supported the strikers, many were not willing to acknowledge the crucial link between the discounted products they themselves were buying and Walmart's low-wage jobs.

"The strikers need to pick a day when people aren't counting on the sales," said Liz Brookings, who was pushing a cart overflowing with socks and underwear for her four grandchildren on Thursday evening. "A lot of people need this day. They save up for Black Friday all year, and this is all there is."

Nation - For about twenty-four hours, Walmart workers, union members and a slew of other activists pulled off the largest-ever US strike against the largest employer in the world. According to organizers, strikes hit a hundred US cities, with hundreds of retail workers walking off the job (last month‘s strikes drew 160). Organizers say they also hit their goal of a thousand total protests, with all but four states holding at least one. In the process, they notched a further escalation against the corporation that’s done more than any other to frustrate the ambitions and undermine the achievements of organized labor in the United States.

Occupy Wall Street - According to the Organization United for Respect at Walmart, 1,000 protests occurred at Walmart stores across 46 states, with hundreds of workers walking off the job in an unprecedented decentralized, open-source strike at the retail giant. Local Occupy groups supported actions in dozens of cities. OWS joined with 99 Pickets, ALIGN, the Retail Action Project, and others to show solidarity to Walmart workers in Secaucus, New Jersey. Despite attempts by Walmart's propaganda department to downplay the events, the latest massive wave of strikes and solidarity actions at Walmart forced even the corporate media to pay attention, and put the 1% on notice: When we work together, another world is possible. We do not have to accept poverty, low wages, or unfair working conditions with no benefits while six members of the Walton family are worth more than the bottom 42% of American families combined.

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