Walmart workers protesting with signs saying
Workers at multiple southern California Walmart stores walked out Wednesday morning, joining supporters for a rally in Paramount, California, with another planned for Los Angeles on Thursday. The rally included 100 workers protesting, though organizers have not confirmed how many were striking.

This week's action presumably begins the ramp-up to a second year of Black Friday strikes by some Walmart workers, but also follows a late-October action by workers at a Miami-area Walmart store, which was not organized by OUR Walmart, the union-connected group that has organized most of the walkouts of the past year. Josh Eidelson writes that that Florida action was unusually successful:

According to OUR Walmart, the eighty-some strikers secured concrete victories: full forty-hour schedules for workers who wanted them; a manager transferred; 50 cent raises for workers who had been designated on their evaluations for 40 cents; and payment from Wal-Mart for their hours on strike. Wal-Mart did not immediately respond to an inquiry on that account.
That fits with what OUR Walmart has said in the past about worker protests: While they aren't yet large enough to have an impact on Walmart's profits or operations, they aren't purely about publicity, with workers making gains at the store level. At the same time, Walmart fired or disciplined dozens of worker activists after a June strike; those workers had engaged in a longer strike, though, and hadn't been drawn from or targeted the operations of a single store as in the recent Florida walkout. And at a certain point, if you're oppressed and underpaid enough, the cost of not fighting comes to be as big as the cost of staying silent.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 03:48 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.


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