Skip to main content

Walmart sign on store.
Worker activists are outnumbered at Walmart's annual shareholder meeting by workers Walmart has flown in to have a lavish experience complete with celebrity performances while letting shareholders know how happy they are. But the activists and their protests aren't going away, and they say that despite the retaliation many face for speaking out, they're also having an impact:
“On the store level, people have won all kinds of victories,” said Dan Schlademan, a campaign director for the United Food and Commercial Workers, one of the main union backers of the movement, rattling off a list: “getting writeups taken away, terminations undone, wages fixed.”

More broadly, he added, the movement is educating people that they have rights. [...]

[A Walmart spokesman] said Walmart has brought about initiatives to provide its workers with the additional hours they’ve demanded, such as a pilot program that allows workers to request vacant shifts in other sections of their stores. Walmart plans to roll out the program across the country by the end of October.

According to Schlademan, however, the program was only introduced after workers at a Maryland store successfully pressured their manager to introduce those practices. “There were petitions and demonstrations and delegations to the manager,” he said.

OUR Walmart activists may be a long way from changing Walmart's corporate practices, but small victories at the store level show other workers that there's strength in numbers and that speaking up for themselves can yield benefits. And while it's true that the number of workers who have gone on strike or otherwise protested publicly remains tiny compared with Walmart's giant workforce, the company is facing pressure not just from these retail workers but throughout its supply chain, including workers in its warehouses and at suppliers, as well as public pressure over its use of unsafe garment factories in Bangladesh and customer discontent thanks to understaffed stores and understocked shelves. A company with the size, money, and power of Walmart won't be changed quickly or easily. But the pressure on it is building and proliferating, and that's the only way there's a chance it will change.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  You have to start somewhere, and this is what (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trumpeter, JayRaye

    these workers are doing. The way to tell when you are starting to have an effect is when your opponent keeps claiming that you are having no effect whatsoever.

    You may wish to check out these diaries:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...
    http://www.dailykos.com/...
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "One of the greatest tragedies of man's long trek along the highway of history has been the limiting of neighborly concern to tribe, race, class or nation." Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by brae70 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 10:25:27 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Laura (0+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 11:47:54 AM PDT

  •  good job activists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brae70, ShoshannaD

    They may have a long way to go, but good to see that Walmart has to start treating their workers better. You may want to check the articles about Walmart workers in Bangladesh.  Time they started paying real wages to people.

    •  the struggle continues. Welcome to Daily Kos! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrybuck, Patango
      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. (Click on orange text to go to linked content.) Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

      by mallyroyal on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 08:30:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hotter than hell in Walmart Sacramento store (0+ / 0-)

      Those happy contented workers didn't come from the Sacramento Florin store where the indoor temps were in the 95 degree range on Fri and Sat.  One poor cashier not only had to work in this under engineered HVAC environment, but in between a chiken roaster and two drink refers kicking out plenty of heat.  Signage blocking the AC vents and lots of skylights letting in the 108 degree temps and solar radiation in Sacramento on those days.  Don't know how they stand it.  It's just vicious and incompetent.

      GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

      by SGWM on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 08:50:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds like slave labor (0+ / 0-)

        No unions and no laws to protect workers cause this.  We need unions again, good unions to protect people.  

        •  CalOSHA is also supposed tom protect workers, but (0+ / 0-)

          it's totally useless.  30 years or Republican governors have so infested the agencies in California that even the lower level workers are right wingers and totally unable to do their jobs where Walmart or any other big businesses are concerned, even though we now have a Democrat as Gov..

          GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

          by SGWM on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 11:01:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  three steps forward two steps back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShoshannaD, Patango
    A company with the size, money, and power of Walmart won't be changed quickly or easily. But the pressure on it is building and proliferating, and that's the only way there's a chance it will change.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 08:07:59 PM PDT

  •  Happy Contented workers at shareholder meetings? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ShoshannaD, Patango, olo

    Gee this sounds familiar:

    Happy contented slaves.  Ole Massa was so good to us.

    Happy contented Jewish inmates at Theresienstadt.

    Happy contented Ukrainian peasants on the collective farm - they just love Comrade Stalin.

     

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 08:18:25 PM PDT

  •  That friendly * symbol on the sign... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patango

    is the way Kurt Vonnegut illustrated the asshole.

    Up yours, WalMart, and yeah up your *

  •  Two things. (0+ / 0-)

    1. How do you keep enthusiasm for this going? Will people say "okay, we got enough no need for more" prematurely?

    2. I still haven't seen any store shelves issues in the upper midwest stores I've seen. Where is this happening? Is there a map where people posted the locations?

    •  Same here in Iowa about empty shelves (0+ / 0-)

      My guess is it is different in every region , I would sure like to network and some how let wall mart workers know that many in the public would join them on the picket lines

      A lot of people I talk to will not shop there , I would think we could talk such people into picketing with these workers , that might inspire immigrant warehouse workers and the workers in China to strike also

      Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

      by Patango on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 01:40:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I have here in Central Ohio (0+ / 0-)

      The stores I have been in have been out of items I normally buy, and now it's not just single items but whole sections are empty.

      And it's starting to happen in Krogers too.

  •  WM is a blight on society... (0+ / 0-)

    It has failed us.
    Avoid it like you'd avoid getting with someone who has genital sores.

    Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

    by olo on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 08:47:35 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site