• Fri, Oct 5 2012

Walmart Workers Go On Strike For The First Time Ever, While Others Sue

For the first time in Walmart’s 50 year history, workers at multiple stores went on strike yesterday. Meanwhile, 11 Florida women filed a lawsuit yesterday accusing Walmart of discrimination in pay and promotions. Not a great day for the company that employs 1% of all working Americans.

More than 70 California employees of nine different stores walked off the job yesterday. The strike is riskier for Walmart workers than it is for most employees who go on strike: They’re not protected by a labor union, so they could be fired at any time. The striking workers say they have complained about working conditions and low pay, and have been responded to with threats, firings, and suspensions. Here’s the catch: The workers planned to return to work today. Walmart calls it a “publicity stunt.”

The Florida women’s lawsuit cannot be dismissed as easily. One former employee, Christina Going said that when she asked her boss how she could move toward a higher-paying position, he told her, “Single mothers like you don’t deserve to make as much. You should be in a two-income household.” She later learned than a man hired after her working in the same position in a different department earned $5 more an hour.

A similar suit was filed this week by women in Tennessee. Last year, a judge dismissed a 1.5 million-person class-action lawsuit accusing Walmart of gender discrimination. In September, some of those workers filed a new suit confining their complaint to California.

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  • Lastango

    “Walmart calls it a ‘publicity stunt.’”
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    The instant I read that I knew what I would find at the link or with a little googling: this was orchestrated by a labor union, in this case the United Food and Commercial Workers. What it signifies is that the union has been unsuccessful in organizing WalMart employees, and is resorting to pressure tactics in an attempt to bypass the inconvenience of needing to be voted in by the folks they want to collect dues from.
    =======
    I recall when one “brave young woman” employed at a McDonald’s in Ontario was “speaking truth to power” by trying to organize her workmates. Oh, the social justice! Oh, the resume when she applies to college! The liberal media milked that one and profiled her for weeks, perhaps months. There was just one teensy little detail they somehow forgot to mention: her father was president of one of the most powerful labor unions in the province. Then the media let the story die without a followup. Why? Because her fellow slaves at the restaurant inconveniently voted down the organizing attempt… apparently those ingrates didn’t know she deserved a victory to help her on her way to bigger & better things.