Walmart Workers Global Day of Action – 19 November 2014, at a Walmart store near you! Following successful Black Friday strikes and protest actions at Walmart stores across the US, the campaign against this corporate bandit is going global! Global unio …

Walmart global

Walmart Workers Global Day of Action – 19 November 2014, at a Walmart store near you!

Following successful Black Friday strikes and protest actions at Walmart stores across the US, the campaign against this corporate bandit is going global! Global union UNI is coordinating thousands of local actions across the world to send a message to this company: it’s time to treat us with respect.

Walmart is the world’s biggest private sector employer. What happens at Walmart matters: it becomes the norm for both employment, and retail. With close to 2.2 million employees worldwide, Walmart has a reputation for low wages, poor working conditions and inadequate health care, as well as strong anti-union policies. 

Whether it’s paying poverty wages, or destroying Mexico’s cultural heritage, it’s time we stood up to this corporate giant.

Race-to-the-Bottom

Walmart leads the race to the bottom

The demands are simple:

  • Respect: Workers who assert their freedom of association in an attempt to resolve issues or improve working conditions frequently face retribution from the company. We are harassed and intimidated by management when we try to voice concerns. We are asking for respect, safety and job security when we speak out.
  • Living Wages: Extremely low wages along with inconsistent scheduling makes it difficult for workers in many countries to support our families. Fair pay and more hours would let us pay our bills and have enough associates in the store to take care of customers.
  • Employment Security: The imposition of part-time work, casual employment contracts or – as in the case of Walmart’s 1.4 million U.S. workers – no contracts at all, means that we have no employment security. We are asking that full time, permanent work be the rule rather than the exception.

Walmart goes by different names in different countries: ASDA in the UK, Massmart in South Africa. But wherever you are, please join us in making a giant, global campaign on the day. We will coordinate our actions using the #WalmartGlobal hashtag.

What you can do:

  • Organise a protest outside a Walmart, ASDA or MAssmart store in your city
  • Contact Trina who will help you plan and coordinate
  • Visit the Action Network page
  • Like the Facebook page to keep updated

Walmart global decent work day FB ad
Background

See video made by UNI about Black Friday actions

What Is Black Friday?

Black Friday is well known in the United States, and increasingly companies like Walmart are trying to export the shopping hysteria to other countries. Historically Black Friday was the first day when a company would turn a profit for the year and is generally considered to be the beginning of the December holiday shopping.

Retail stores in the US open very early on Black Friday and also have even begun to open the day before which is always a national holiday in the US (Thanksgiving) where traditionally all stores were closed. Black Friday sales come with significant mark downs and frantic shoppers trying to obtain the best discounts the stores have to offer.

Black Friday has for the past couple of years in the US been a day when Walmart workers go on strike to protest the company’s illegal attempts to silence workers who speak out. Sales at the stores are covered widely in the media in the US that day. Workers in retail know that Black Friday is one of the busiest days of the year and generally everyone is scheduled to work that day for very long hours.

At Walmart in particular, shoppers will wait for hours outside in very cold weather so that they are there when the doors open on Black Friday and can purchase the extremely discounted products such as TVs and video games. Walmart in recent years has even had security guards die because the customers caused a stampede of shoppers trampled the security guard once the doors were opened. This resulted in severe government imposed fines on Walmart.

Walmart has begun to test out Black Friday sales in other countries. In Mexico it has been coined Buen Fin and other names have been given for the heavy discounts in other countries.

 

 


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Author avatar

Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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