DC Residents to WalMart, "Respect is not Negotiable"
On February 7th, chants were ringing out in front of John Wilson Building. “WalMart better come correct! DC residents deserve respect!” and “1 2 3 4, DC residents deserve more, 5 6 7 8, WalMart must negotiate!” were crowd favorites, even pulling in passer-bys.
Respect DC, a coalition of community, faith, environmental, student and labor organizations, was at the John Wilson building after meeting with DC Council Members and their staffs. Their message was simple: DC demands fair wages, fair treatment and community benefits from the world’s largest employer as it plans to open four locations in the District.
Speeches were delivered from local business owners, community members and faith leaders. All aimed at one thing: WalMart must respect DC. WalMart is making big promises to bring jobs and tax revenue, but has a history of pulling communities apart with low paying jobs and setting a low standard for all other retailers.
We want our elected leaders to consider the long-term impact of WalMart and what it really means to have 4 new stores open in DC. WalMart has a proven track record, and we don’t think it fits our community or reflects its values – and we obviously aren’t the only ones feeling that as the same message was put out across the city.
Yes, we need jobs. But we can’t throw workers and our communities under the bus. WalMart has to respect the treatment and pay of Associates if they are really going to give back to our community.
DC residents left with their message clear: WalMart, respect is not negotiable.