Fifty-four Walmart workers, members of the clergy and community members sat down in the middle of the street in Downtown Los Angeles Thursday evening to call for an end to retaliation and a salary of at least $25,000 a year for Walmart workers.
The protest comes almost exactly one year after the first-ever strike at Walmart began in Los Angeles. In that historic event workers at the Pico Rivera Walmart put their jobs on the line to end the illegal retaliation when they walked off the job. They set off a wave of strikes and protests around the nation.
Already in his brief twenty some years, Brandon Garrett has had to make tough choices.
From Baton Rouge, LA, Brandon grew up with a single mom. She raised him to be a hard worker. In high school, Brandon excelled in sports. He did well in his classes and participated in football, basketball, wrestling, track and field and bowling. By the time Brandon graduated, he was a strong enough athlete to play collegiate sports.
While in school, Brandon’s mother fell ill. She was unable to work to support herself. Brandon had a tough choice to make. He left college and moved back home to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to help support his mom through her illness. He found a job working at Walmart in Baker.
Americans believe in speaking up when something is wrong and working together to improve our lives. The freedom of speech and freedom of association are core American values and basic rights enshrined by our nation’s Constitution. Yet while our basic rights as Americans are protected under the law, Walmart doesn’t think these laws apply to them.
In recent weeks, Walmart has escalated its illegal campaign of punishing workers who exercise their right to come together and speak out for change. In attempting to silence those workers who speak out, the company has fired or disciplined over 60 workers.
and Kevin Rudiger
Yesterday in Los Angeles, in a historic step for the US labor movement, nearly 100 Walmart workers went on strike in Los Angeles. For more than a year, Walmart workers have been coming together from across the country through the worker-led organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) to make change at Walmart. They have been calling on the company to address issues with understaffing, scheduling, benefits, wages and, above all, a basic sense of respect in the workplace.
that Walmart not only bribed public officials in Mexico, but that top executives had known of the scandal and chose to cover it up, one employee is questioning
whether she can trust Walmart with her future.
“I’ve given a lot to this company and I’m very angry that top executives at Walmart are said to be involved in bribing public officials in Mexico and then trying to cover the whole thing up. I’m worried because while I am working hard, now I’m hearing that they’re risking our company by lying and cheating,” said Venanzi Luna, a Walmart employee and OUR Walmart member. “For years my coworkers and I have been saying that this company has lost its way. I didn’t realize it had gotten this bad!”