Chatham Walmart, Chicago
Long Green Line – Duarte, CA
Laurel, MD “They say rollback, We say fight back!”
Worker Organization Files Federal Charge against Walmart
OUR Walmart Points to Walmart’s Threats to Workers
November 20, 2012 07:09 PM Eastern Time
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In response to illegal threats from Walmart managers and the company’s national spokesperson, OUR Walmart has filed a charge with the federal government seeking immediate intervention. The charge, filed with the National Labor Relations Board Tuesday afternoon, cites threats by Walmart to attempt to deter workers from participating in legally protected strikes planned for this week, including on Black Friday. OUR Walmart is an organization of Walmart workers from across the country who are calling for changes at Walmart.
“These charges should be investigated swiftly by the NLRB as concerted activity is a protected right. Walmart’s breach here is serious, and needs to be addressed immediately.”
.“I want to send a clear message to Walmart: we will not be silenced,” said Mary Pat Tifft, an OUR Walmart member and 24-year Walmart associate from Kenosha, WI. “As America’s largest employer, we should expect more than threats to our jobs when we speak out for what’s right. Walmart’s attempt to shut down our protests is one more example of the company’s efforts to silence any opposition that they face. We will continue to speak out because there are real problems at Walmart that need to be addressed.”
“We are working hard, trying to get ahead and create a better future for our kids,” Tifft said. “You would think that we’d be able to do that at the country’s largest employer, but when we speak out about our concerns, Walmart has been trying to silence us.”
The planned strikes, which OUR Walmart members announced would be part of 1,000 store protests on and leading up to Black Friday, are in protest of Walmart’s ongoing attempts to silence workers for speaking out for better jobs. Because the planned strikes are in protest to unfair labor practices like silencing workers through scheduling changes, reductions in hours, and even firings, workers are legally protected under federal labor law.
“Freedom of speech and freedom of association are basic rights for all Americans,” said Rev. Eric Lee, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. “We cannot allow our country’s largest employer to threaten their employees’ rights in closed-door meetings or in the national news media. Walmart workers should know that we support them.”
On Monday evening, Walmart spokesperson David Tovar made threats to Walmart workers on national television. “There could be consequences,” Tovar said on CBS Evening News of workers who do not come in for scheduled shifts on Black Friday.
“I saw David Tovar from Walmart on the evening news telling me and my coworkers that there would be consequences if we went on strike,” said Dan Hindman, an OUR Walmart member from California who was interviewed on CBS Evening News. “Yes, some of my coworkers are afraid, but this kind of intimidation by Walmart management is an example of why we are going on strike. I know my rights, and I’m not afraid to protest against the way this company has retaliated against workers who are speaking out for what’s good for our families.”
In stores across the country, workers have been facing threats from managers. Workers from a store in Fairfield, Calif., recount their manager telling them: “Home office gave me the freedom to say whatever I want. If any one of you walks off the job or participates in an action on Black Friday that results in the loss of store sales you will be fired and sued.”
“Walmart appears to be issuing serious threats to employees to stop them from exercising their rights under the law,” said Erin Johansson, Research Director, American Rights at Work. “These charges should be investigated swiftly by the NLRB as concerted activity is a protected right. Walmart’s breach here is serious, and needs to be addressed immediately.”
Walmart workers have been speaking out about the company’s manipulation of hours and benefits, efforts to try to keep people from working full-time and their discrimination against women and people of color, but rather than listening to the concerns facing 1.4 million Walmart workers, Walmart has attempted to silence them. Some workers have also been speaking out about the early start of Black Friday sales – on Thanksgiving Day –which will keep many retail workers from being able to spend the holiday with their families. Watch a video from Walmart workers on why they’re standing up or follow the conversation on Twitter at #WalmartStrikers.
Lynsey Kryzwick, 646-200-5311
via Huffington Post:
“The company website declares that “a job at Walmart opens the door to a better life” and “the chance to grow and build a career.” But interviews with 31 hourly workers and one former store manager reveal lives beset by paychecks too small to handle the bills, difficult to manage part-time schedules with hours subject to constant change, and little reason to hope for career advancement. Citing fear of losing their jobs, most spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The testimonials of these workers are confirmed by Walmart’s official compensation policy, an internal company document obtained by The Huffington Post, titled the “Field Non-Exempt Associate Pay Plan Fiscal Year 2013.” The plan details a rigid pay structure for hourly employees that makes it difficult for most to rise much beyond poverty-level wages.
Low-level workers typically start near minimum wage, and have the potential to earn raises of 20 to 40 cents an hour through incremental promotions. Flawless performance merits a 60 cent raise per year under the policy, regardless of how much time an employee has worked for the company. As a result, a “solid performer” who starts at Walmart as a cart pusher making $8 an hour and receives one promotion, about the average rate, can expect to make $10.60 after working at the company for 6 years.
The Walmart pay plan is organized around seven levels of job difficulty for hourly workers, called Position Pay Grades (PPGs), ranging from cart-pushers (Level 1) and cashiers (Level 3), to cake decorators (Level 4) and customer service managers (Level 6). Each subsequent pay grade offers 20 to 40 cents more than the previous level, according to the document. This means that the base rate of pay for a top hourly position at Walmart, like a check-out supervisor, is $1.70 more than that of the lowest paying job.”
pdf of walmarts pay policy http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/Walmart_0.pdf
complete article at:
update fri 11/16 Wal-Mart filed an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, or UFCW, asking the National Labor Relations Board to halt what the retailer says are unlawful attempts to disrupt its business.
update worker actions spread to Texas http://www.thenation.com/blog/171299/walmart-strike-takes-texas-organizers-promise-massive-black-friday-protest#
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Hundreds of Walmart workers walked off the job on Thursday, and the employees are now threatening to strike on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Walmart workers are not unionized, but growing unrest over what they call low wages, shortened hours and few benefits has some of the employees threatening to strike.
more from googlenews http://urlet.com/oriented.ranges
Walmart workers at various stores around the country are on strike today, protesting poor working conditions and alleged retaliation for their attempts to organize.
Workers strike Thursday outside a Southern California Walmart store. (Photo: Organization United for Respect—Our Walmart). The one-day strike was expected to culminate in a mass rally outside a store in Pico Rivera, Calif., this afternoon.
OUR Walmart, a coalition of Walmart workers and other sympathizers, organized the protest.
According to Salon.com, Pico Rivera Wal-Mart employee Evelin Cruz said “I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m scared … But I think the time has come, so they take notice that these associates are tired of all the issues in the stores, all the management retaliating against you.” Rivera, a department manager, said her store is chronically understaffed: “They expect the work to be done, without having the people to do the job.”
According to a release from the group, although Walmart’s more than 4,000 stores employ 1.4 million people in the United States, “For too many of us, the economy Walmart helped create isn’t working—but we have the power to change it.”
OUR Walmart’s objectives include, but are not limited to, minimum pay of $25,000 a year, quality, affordable health coverage; that Walmart and the Walton family sign “a global labor agreement” guaranteeing employees the right to organize; and that they guarantee that contractors and subcontractors will “provide living wages and worker safety protections, respect basic human and labor rights including freedom of association, and freedom from racial and gender discrimination,” according to the release.
“I am family man, I have a wife and I just had a child. I am also a veteran, a Marine who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. I now work at Walmart, serving customers every day. While I am excited and appreciative to have a job, I wish that I was paid enough to make ends meet. I currently make $7.70 an hour, three cents more than Florida’s minimum wage. At 30 hours per week, that’s a little more than $12,000 per year. That is just not enough to pay for food, rent and and still pay for things like car insurance. I don’t drive now because I can’t afford it. And believe me, it is hard to survive in South Florida without a car.
However, not everyone at Walmart makes minimum wage. Mike Duke, our CEO, made $18 million last year. That’s close to $9,000 an hour. Many Walmart workers would be happy to make $9 an hour.”