For the first time in its fifty-year history, retail workers at Walmart have gone on strike at stores in a number of cities across the country to protest illegal attempts to silence their employees. For over a year Walmart retail workers have been calling for the company to address issues with scheduling, benefits, wages and respect in the workplace. These retail worker strikes have come on the heels of other supply-chain strikes from shrimp workers in Louisiana and warehouse workers in California and Illinois. The compnay's response has been swift and retaliatory, attempting to squash free speech by imposing unfair disciplinary actions, cutbacks on hours and even firings.
Walmart is the second-largest employer of Black folks in the country and the largest private employer overall. Retail work is the fastest-growing category of work since the recession, so many in our community rely on Walmart for employment as well as a marketplace for goods and services in some of the most economically depressed areas of the country. With such close ties and so much at stake, Walmart has a responsiblity to use its position in the Black community to rebuild the economy and we intend to hold them accountable.
October 10 was called as a National Day of Action to support the striking retail workers at Walmart. In an unprecedented move, if their demands are not met, workers are now threatening to walk out again on the year's biggest shopping day for retailers— Black Friday. ColorOfChange stands in solidarity with these workers who are demanding a fair wage and protection from retaliation and wage discrimination.
Walmart workers confront corporate executives at shareholder meeting in Bentonville, AR