Jobs with Justice Mobilizes in Support of Walmart Associates on Strike
In the wake of the unprecedented strikes by Walmart Associates all over the country, the Huffington Post uncovered a confidential memo Walmart issued to salaried managers on October 8th, just after the first wave of strikers walked off the job in Southern California. The document contains seven pages of instructions for how to respond to both strikes and actions by community members.
The document shows that the dozens of walk-outs and hundreds of store actions have unsettled the company, in spite of their public claims that neither the strikes nor protests have impacted their ability to operate. It also shows that Walmart expects both workplace and community actions to continue, and wants to carefully control the response from local store managers.
On Oct. 10th, Jobs with Justice chapters and Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) activists joined union members and other community allies in a day of action that reached more than 250 stores across the country. Jobs with Justice coalitions organized and mobilized for actions in Atlanta, GA; Bloomington, IN; Indianapolis, IN; Cleveland, OH; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Louisville, KY; Medford, OR; Portland, OR; Washington State; Denver, CO; the Bay Area; the DC metro area; Long Island, NY; and Massachusetts while students from the SLAP network led actions in Orlando, FL; Eugene, OR; and Hadley, MA.
In Massachusetts, Eastern and Western Mass JwJ collaborated to organize 25 actions across the state, engaging a wide range of labor and community allies to adopt stores.
In Atlanta, more than 30 community members joined the action, including students from several local universities, union members, and members of the 9to5 Working Women’s Organization. The group spread out in the store first to educate workers about the strikes and hear their concerns, then moved outside to flyer customers. Though the group remained orderly and peaceful, management felt so threatened they summoned a dozen police officers and a fire truck to the scene.
South Central Indiana JwJ enlisted Raging Grannies and members of Occupy Bloomington to perform satirical songs inside the Bloomington, IN Walmart before fliering customers.
In the DC area, Dallas, and the Bay Area, JwJ chapters supported striking Walmart Associates with rallies when they walked out of their stores, and accompanied workers when they returned to their stores on October 11th.
On the same day that actions took place at stores across the country, more than 200 members of OUR Walmart gathered in Bentonville to deliver their demands to the company, and to announce even bigger plans for Black Friday. Workers and community allies pledged to engage in a wide range of non-violent activities on Black Friday, including rallies, flash mobs, direct action and other efforts to inform customers about the illegal actions that Walmart has been taking against its workers.
Jobs with Justice and SLAP chapters have adopted stores in 15 states and counting and are committed to being there in solidarity with Walmart Associates and supply chain workers throughout this holiday season.