On Tuesday, Walmart store workers across the country began the longest strike in the company’s history. Workers are now headed on a “Ride for Respect” caravan to Bentonville, Arkansas, to bring their concerns to the company’s annual shareholder meeting beginning June 1.
In a press release, the striking workers called on the nation’s largest private employer to create better jobs:
With more than $16 billion in annual profits and executives making 1,000 times more than the average Walmart employee, a growing number of associates and supporters nationwide are calling for the company to end retaliation against employees and for the company to publicly commit to providing full-time work with a minimum salary of $25,000 a year so workers don’t have to rely on tax-payer funded programs to support their families.
Sarita Gupta, executive director of Jobs with Justice/American Rights at Work, applauded the effort, “We are proud to stand with the brave leaders of OUR Walmart. We need Walmart to use its $16 billion in profits to create good jobs for America.”
This latest strike comes on the heels of a new white paper released by American Rights at Work detailing the extensive and systematic efforts to silence associates who speak out for better jobs. The paper features the stories of workers like Cindy Lee, a model employee who reports being fired for calling in sick after she was publicly involved with OUR Walmart last fall. The study also finds that Walmart has escalated efforts to silence associates and community supporters since the historic 2012 Black Friday strikes, in part with aggressive and meritless litigation intended to intimidate workers and their supporters from raising their concerns inside or near Walmart stores.
Jobs with Justice members and other activists are staging protests at Walmart stores throughout the country the week of June 1-7 in solidarity with the striking workers.
Sign up to join one of the solidarity actions or follow the conversation on twitter at #WalmartStrikers.