Walmart workers launch 1st ever strike - they demand end to retaliations against workers trying to organise

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Article
24 October 2012

Global Responsibility [Walmart]

Author: Walmart

Save money. Live better. These are the words we live by at Walmart. Our “Every Day Low Cost” strategy helps people save money, stretch their paychecks, and provide a better life for their families. But the work we do to help people live better goes far beyond our store walls. It extends into our communities and around the world and affects the lives of people we will never meet....We believe we have an opportunity and a responsibility to make a difference on the big issues that matter to us all. Issues like preserving the environment, fighting hunger, empowering women and providing access to healthy, affordable food. Walmart is driving meaningful change in a way that no other company can. And we’re committed to using our size and scale to help the world live better.

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Company non-response
24 October 2012

RoadLink Transportation Solutions (part of RTS Holdings) did not respond to: Walmart workers launch first ever strike - they demand end to retaliations against workers trying to organise.

Company response
22 October 2012

Walmart response

Author: Walmart

Much has been written in recent weeks about labor union activity at Walmart facilities. There is nothing new, nor historic, about the fact that labor unions want to organize…The reality is, Walmart has some of the best jobs in the retail industry….[T]he Huffington Post published a company memo detailing instructions to managers in the event of a work stoppage. The publication elected to leave out two crucial facts: the document isn’t new and why we provide it…[T]hese types of communication tools help us ensure that our store management teams are properly equipped to follow the law and ensure they understand what rights our associates have and what rights we, as an employer…have…In recent months, there have also been concerns raised about working conditions at a small number of warehouse facilities run by other companies that handle Walmart merchandise. We had a productive meeting with some of the workers earlier this month…

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Article
14 October 2012

Workers fight for justice, from Wal-mart to chipotle [USA]

Author: Amy Goodman, Southern [USA]

[scroll down page for Wal-Mart response and other material] Wal-Mart workers launched the first strike against the giant retailer in its 50-year history, with protests and picket lines…across 12 states. Many of these nonunion workers are facing retaliation from their employer…The strikers are operating under the banner of OUR Walmart…OUR Walmart members…[are] [d]emanding a stop to the company’s retaliations, the group promised a vigorous national presence at Wal-Mart stores on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the largest retail shopping day of the year…warehouse workers employed by Wal-Mart subcontractor RoadLink [based in Elwood] went out on strike…According to Warehouse Workers for Justice (WWJ), “warehouse workers labor under extreme temperatures, lifting thousands of boxes that can weigh up to 250lbs each. Workplace injuries are common; workers rarely earn a living wage or have any benefits.”…after 21 days on strike in Elwood, the workers “won their principal demand for an end to illegal retaliation against workers protesting poor conditions. [also refers to Chipotle] [We invited Roadlink to respond to the concerns raised but it declined]

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Article
13 October 2012

Wal-Mart workers threaten disruption on Black Friday [USA]

Author: Domain-b [India]

Wal-Mart workers have threatened a work disruption on Black Friday, if it refused to give in to demands by labour aimed at organising employees of the world's largest retailer...Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, was named so because it was traditionally when retailers would become profitable. The first-ever strike by Wal-Mart workers took place on 9 October, with workers in 12 cities walking off their jobs, calling for the retailer to address wages and cease retaliation against workers who sought to organise. The group, OUR Walmart, a labour-backed organisation advocates on behalf of Wal-mart's workers (OUR stands for Organization United for Respect).

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Article
13 October 2012

Walmart Strike Memo Reveals Confidential Management Plans

Author: Christina Wilkie & Alice Hines, Huffington Post [USA]

Walmart launched a large-scale response this week to a series of unprecedented labor strikes, according to a confidential document…The seven-page internal memo…is intended for salaried employees only, and contains instructions on how to respond to strikes by hourly…Legal experts said the confidential memo shows an unprecedented level of caution from a company that has taken harsh stances towards employee attempts to organize in the past...The majority of the memo is aimed at instructing managers not to violate workers' legal right to engage in concerted activity, or non-union labor organizing…According to [Lance] Compa [labour law professor, Cornell University], the memo reflects Walmart's concern over the 20-some charges of unfair labor practices that Walmart workers filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)…in concurrence with the strikes.

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