Just two weeks ago, protests were held in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Phoenix, Arizona, calling for Walmart’s owners, the Waltons, to publicly commit to paying associates fifteen dollars an hour and access to full-time work. Since then, Walmart workers’ petition has continued to gain support. The petition now includes calls from more than 2,000 stores, more than half of all of the Walmart stores in the U.S. Community members have also launched their own petition, supporting Walmart workers calls for fifteen and full-time, saying they will protest on Black Friday if the Waltons fail to respond to workers. The community petition has more than 42,000 signatures and continues to grow rapidly.
You can sign the petition at action.changewalmart.org/For15.
Information on upcoming 2014 Walmart Black Friday protests can also be found at the 2014 Black Friday Protest page here. Interested activists can search for protests near them or sign up to host a protest in their area. Campaign and Black Friday action materials such as action instructions, flyers, and petitions are also available.
Local unions are also encouraged to sign an ally letter to show support for Walmart workers on Black Friday. The deadline is October 31 and more than 130 organizations have already signed on. To be added to the letter, fill out this form to confirm that your local is signing on. The letter will be released in early November in the lead up to Black Friday. A copy of the letter is provided below.
Dear Rob Walton:
With more than $16 billion in annual profits, Walmart can afford to pay its hard working employees enough to support their families. Instead, Walmart chooses to manipulate schedules and hours to pay the majority of its workers less than $25,000 a year, keeping hundreds of thousands of Walmart workers from covering the basics for their children and from being able to achieve the American Dream.
At the same time Walmart workers are struggling to pay their bills, the Walton family – majority owners of the company – is building its $149 billion in wealth. The Waltons are robbing American workers and taxpayers in their effort to keep the title of richest family in the country.
Walmart’s and the Waltons’ low pay business model is not just wrong; it’s holding America back.
Walmart workers like expecting mom Ronee Hinton don’t know when they will work from week to week. She recently had to rent out a room from a family friend to avoid living on the street because her inconsistent schedule at $8.10 an hour makes it impossible to plan and save for her baby’s future when she is earning less than $400 every two weeks.
As allies whose work focuses on the environment, women’s rights, faith, economic justice, civil rights and more, we believe Walmart can afford to pay more and has an obligation to do so. We are calling on Walmart to pay a minimum of $15 an hour and provide consistent, full-time hours for its workers.
As the largest employer in the country, respect and justice for Walmart associates is central to the fights we all fight every day.
- Workers’ rights. Walmart can afford to pay $15 and provide full-time jobs to employees and can respect and listen to workers calls for change rather than illegally firing or disciplining them for standing up for better lives for their families.
- Women. Walmart can be a leader in providing working women with good jobs with decent wages, freedom from discrimination and harassment, equal pay for equal work, paid sick days and time to take care of their families;
- Environment. Walmart can model practices that contribute, not detract from, the health of people, the climate, and the planet;
- Civil rights. Walmart can contribute towards closing the wealth gap by using its position as the largest employer in the country to raise the wages of hundreds of thousands of black and latino workers, and correct its history of discrimination by ensuring that all demographics are proportionately represented in management.
- Faith. Moral and just treatment of workers – The Walton family, as Presbyterians, has the opportunity to model what it means to be people of faith who honor the intrinsic value of all workers by treating them with respect and paying wages that allow workers to live and raise a family with dignity.
- LGBT and Vets. Walmart can create a workplace that fosters inclusivity, appreciation and understanding rather than fear and uncertainty; protect the rights of workers to exercise their own faith tradition; protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights; and provide opportunities for our nation’s veterans.
Walmart and the Waltons are hurting our families and destroying the American Dream. If Walmart and the Waltons don’t commit to giving workers a fair shot, and stop holding workers and our country back, I WILL BE AT WALMART ON BLACK FRIDAY!