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As many as 80 workers at one Miami-area Walmart walked off the job Friday, protesting cuts to their work schedules and the general environment of abuse:
“I decided a long time ago to do this, but we needed to come together as a group to make the decision,” said Bello. He described the strike as a response to “abuse and discrimination” by managers, as well as insufficient hours. “I have four years here,” he said, and “they’re give me 29 hours … as a human being, I want 40 hours.” Bello told Salon that workers met Thursday and decided to strike.
The walkout is the first since June; after a June action by some workers, Walmart engaged in a binge of retaliatory firings and other discipline. But OUR Walmart, the group involved in organizing previous strikes, says it didn't play a role in this one, though doubtless the earlier waves of one-day strikes helped inspire these workers. They certainly knew the importance of sticking together:
A representative from Walmart's human resources department came out of the store to try and have a dialogue with the protesters, but they did not come to an agreement. Human resources wanted to meet with each employee individually, but protesters said "all of us or none of us."
Walmart, predictably, insists that it offers full-time work, just like it insists that its average pay is higher than any outside analysis concludes. Fans of reality know that Walmart is a bad jobs machine that kills jobs in the communities it locates in and drags down wages throughout the retail sector.