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.