Walmart Supply Chain Workers Protest Freezing Workplace: Hammond Indiana

hamm

HAMMOND | Warehouse workers marched through a local Walmart Supercenter on Tuesday to protest frigid working conditions.

Contractors at the Walmart Consolidation Center on 141st Street in Hammond marched into the store on Fifth Avenue to notify the public about freezing weather conditions at the warehouse

http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/hammond/walmart-warehouse-workers-protest-freezing-conditions/article_6d535901-46e8-5626-9fbb-7e2ccf927692.html

http://www.wbiw.com/state/archive/2014/01/walmart-employees-protest-freezing-work-conditions.php

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024409615

Walmart Added As Defendent in Supply Chain Lawsuit

via InTheseTimes http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/14250/lawsuit_charges_walmart_cant_shirk_liability_for_contract_workers/

Walmart may soon find it harder to avoid responsibility, as it has in the past, for the mistreatment of workers in its long supply chain.

Lawyers who sued temporary labor firms in a giant Walmart warehouse last year for violating federal and state laws with their abusive labor practices today took what they described as the “historic” step of adding Walmart as a defendant in the case.

They claimed that their investigation and depositions undertaken for the original suit filed in October 2011 show that Walmart really  “calls the shots” at the warehouse and should be held liable along with its subcontractors for “stealing millions of dollars from the low-wage warehouse workers who move Walmart merchandise,” as Michael Rubin, an attorney for the workers, wrote to the Center for Public Integrity.

The updated charges included six theories supporting the claim that Walmart is legally a joint employer and shares liabilities with the contractors, arguing that the relationship is not that between an arm’s length provider of services or goods, like a painting contractor or bookkeeping firm that a small business might hire. The amendment to the lawsuit calls Schneider “closely-controlled” by Walmartuntil last year most if not all Schneider managers had walmart.com e-mail addressesand notes that a Walmart-owned security firm is responsible for protecting the warehouse.

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/14250/lawsuit_charges_walmart_cant_shirk_liability_for_contract_workers/

court filing:  http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/526803-355-1-memo.html

Warehouse Workers United WWU  http://www.warehouseworkersunited.org/

more http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/30/walmart-warehouse-workers-lawsuit_n_2218773.html

Walmart’s Dickensian Internal Pay Policy Revealed – Poverty is Policy

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:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/16/walmarts-internal-compensation-plan_n_2145086.html

Actions to Hold Wal-Mart Accountable Spread Nationwide – 1,000 Actions Planned for Black Friday

Strikes and protests aimed at disrupting the retail giant Walmart during next week’s Black Friday sales events began on Thursday with walk-outs at a number of stores and the promise of more actions in the lead-up to what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.

The news comes amid controversy about plans by Walmart and other large chains to open on Thanksgiving evening, kicking off Black Friday a day early. It also comes as another strike has hit part of Walmart’s warehouse supply chain in southern California.

At least 30 workers from six different Seattle-area Walmarts have gone on strike, organisers and Walmart staff from the OUR Walmart group said. The group, which is not a union but has close ties with the labour movement, is seeking to protest what it says is low pay, too few hours and retaliation by managers against workers who speak out.

source the Guardian UK:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/nov/15/walmart-walkout-action-black-friday\

Next Wave of Walmart Worker Actions Kicks Off with California Strike

By David Moberg

Walmart warehouse workers striking with the help of Warehouse Workers United.   (Amy Whelan / Flickr / Creative Commons)

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/14183/walmart_warehouse_workers_strike_against_boss_retaliation/

Outside a Walmart distribution center in Mira Loma, Calif. yesterday, a few dozen striking workers were joined by throngs of chanting supporters to protest alleged retaliation against workers who complained about safety hazards.

Today, hundreds of supporters joined them at the warehouse, where law enforcement officers arrested six community leaders for acts of non-violent civil disobedience. Among those arrested was a local clergyman who sat down in the road in front of the warehouse, temporarily blocking trucks approaching the loading docks.

The strike is one of more than a thousand protests, walkouts, and other actions workers in the Walmart retail empire are planning over the next week, culminating on the big “Black Friday” shopping day.  After an initial round of lengthy warehouse strikes and quick retail strikes in late September, a new surge started with one store in Richmond, Calif.; then three stores last week in Dallas. Yesterday, workers walked out at one store in San Leandro, Calif., followed today by workers at six stores in Seattle.

Strikers at the southern California warehouse allege that the staffing agency Warestaff retaliated against participants in a two-week strike over safety issues in late September and early October. According to Warehouse Workers United (a workers’ center in the Inland Empire complex of southern California distribution centers), Warestaff has shortened many strikers’ work weeks from the usual 30 to 40 hours down to as little as 8 hours, even as it hires new workers. Organizers believe Warestaff was acting under orders from Walmart; Warestaff is contracted by NFI Transportation, which operates the giant Mira Loma transportation hub exclusively for Walmart.

Yesterday’s strike was launched a day early in response to what organizers saw as a new round of retaliation by Warestaff. On Monday, Warestaff sent a large group of workers home early, even though workers estimated there was a sizeable line-up of 150 trailers that needed unloading. Then the company told most of the strike cadre to stay home Tuesday. When they learned about the lost workday, the core of the strike leaders decided to start their walkout a day early but to continue with a strike and supporter rally on Thursday.

Speaking up for workers’ rights gets you straight-up fired, warehouse employees say

http://ieweekly.com/2012/11/news-stories-2/news-stories/working-mans-blues/

A September full of direct action and progress for workers’ rights group Warehouse Workers United (WWU) came at a high cost for the outspoken David Garcia.

“I was fired for trying to make the warehouse where I worked safer,” Garcia tells the Weekly. “It’s been tough. My kids need food, school supplies and an apartment to sleep at night, but right now it is difficult to provide them these basic things.”

Garcia—a father of five sons who already struggles to make ends meet when duly employed—was among the dozen on-strike Walmart-subcontracted employees at NFI Industries in Mira Loma who picketed and participated in a 50-mile, six-day march from the Inland Empire to Downtown Los Angeles last month. “WalMarch” brought international awareness to the ongoing plight of warehouse workers caught in a white-collar web that allows the world’s largest corporation to exploit supply chain workers through the questionable—sometimes illegal—practices of logistic firms and temporary staffing agencies.

The emerging leader in the warehouse worker movement was passionate as he spoke to supporters and media before the launch of WalMarch in the WWU parking lot. Garcia told the crowd he understood the risk he is taking for speaking up, but he had determined the decision had to be made for the betterment of his future.

more from yahoo news on “walmart strike”  http://urlet.com/remodeling.training

also http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/15/walmart-strike-black-friday_n_2138871.html

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/black-friday-approaches-walmart-workers-190600740.html;_ylt=ApVN3wvUR704usmMDWSgsWzQtDMD

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/walmart-black-friday-strike-organized-online-video_n_2094698.html

http://makingchangeatwalmart.org/2012/11/02/resources/

https://twitter.com/ChangeWalmart

https://www.facebook.com/MakingChangeWMT

Walmart Black Friday Strike https://www.facebook.com/walmartblackfridaystrike

Defending the Community
$12.00 An Hour Minimum Wage for Large Employers

WALMART SUPPLY CHAIN WORKERS PLAN STRIKE ACTION TODAY IN MIRA LOMA

Update (10 pm Tuesday, November 13): According to a Warehouse Workers United spokesperson, Mira Loma warehouse workers experienced a new wave of retaliation Tuesday. In response, the workers decided tonight to begin their strike a day early, at 8 am Pacific Time Wednesday. The strike will continue into Thursday, when workers will rally with supporters as originally planned.

Thursday, Walmart warehouse workers are headed back to the picket line. At 8 am PST, twenty-some workers in Mira Loma, California, plan to launch a one-day walkout that could spread to more workers, including retail employees in Walmart stores. Thursday’s strike will be the latest in an unprecedented wave of work stoppages throughout the retail giant’s US supply chain. It follows strikes by seafood workers in June, by warehouse workers in September, and by 160 retail workers in twelve states last month. It comes a week before Black Friday, the post-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza that workers have pledged—barring concessions from the company—will bring their biggest disruptions yet.

“Hopefully it will make a dent in their production…” said Raymond Castillo, “and it gets their attention, that we’re not playing around.” Castillo and other Mira Loma workers struck in September, and voted Sunday to do it again on Thursday. According to Castillo, workers started organizing because of unsafe and unsanitary conditions: crooked ramps caused serious injuries; workers’ drinking water came from a hose. The organizing brought retaliation, which inspired a strike, which drew more punishment. “Since we’ve all been retaliated against,” said Castillo, “it was a pretty easy decision for all of us to go back on strike.”

http://www.thenation.com/blog/171222/alleging-new-wave-retaliation-walmart-warehouse-workers-will-strike-day-early

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/14/walmart-strike-black-friday_n_2130389.html