THE STORY OF A WALMART STRIKE
By David Bacon
Read the entire story including all the photos of courageous workers fighting for their right to organize at Walmart. David Bacon is an award-winning photo journalist covering immigration and labor issues. TruthOut OpEd Click through to share this story with friends.
SAN LEANDRO, CA (11/17/12) -- On past Black Fridays, the nation's annual post-Thanksgiving shopping celebration, Walmart stores have seen such a crush of shoppers that people have been trampled trying to get through the doors. On this coming Black Friday, however, shoppers are more likely to see protesting workers.
People have been criticizing the chain's low wages and unfair competition with local businesses for years. But for a long time the company has been able to keep its workers from joining in. Where it could, Walmart has tried to give itself a paternalistic, we're-all-one-big-family face. Where that hasn't worked, it's resorted to the age-old tactics of firings and fear.
But Walmart workers are waking up. Supported by a number of unions, they've organized a series of work stoppages, the latest and most extensive of which will take place on Black Friday. They call their organization OURWalmart (Organization United for Respect at Walmart).