Walmart Walkout Planned by Workers Before Black Friday
There’s something cooking in for the world’s largest retailer just before the Black Friday sale on November 23, 2012. Unfortunately, it’s not about the list of discounted items they will be offering. It’s about the planned walkout by its workers.
Walmart workers are planning a nationwide walkout to protest the company’s attempt to silence workers who speak out for better jobs. In fact, “Making Change at Walmart” reveals that some of the warehouse workers have already walked out of their jobs just before the busiest shopping day of the year, the Black Friday sale, slated to happen on November 23. They are not only demanding better wages, hours, and health care coverage but also the holiday hours that Walmart would want them to work on Thanksgiving Day which was scheduled to open at 8 pm on November 22.
“It’s heartbreaking to miss the holiday with them, and it’s just one more way that Walmart is showing its disregard for our families. But when our co-workers speak out about problems like these, Walmart turns their schedules upside down, cuts their hours and even fires people. No matter how hard we work, my husband and I can’t catch up on our bills. We’re going on strike for an end to Walmart’s attempts to silence its workers,” said Charlene Fletcher.
Warehouse workers from Southern California have walked off their jobs last Wednesday morning. They were joined by Walmart workers from San Leandro, California on the same day in the afternoon. The last one to join last week were workers from Seattle who walked out on Thursday morning.
In an article published by Huffington Post last November 16, interviews with about 31 Walmart employees revealed their dissatisfaction at work with regards to the company’s strict pay schedule which limits employee advancement.
Walmart’s compensation plan for their employees as obtained by Huffington Post titled as “Field Non-Exempt Associate Pay Plan Fiscal Year 2013” reveals low-level employees start at minimum wage then have a 20 to 40 cent-an-hour raise with promotions over time. Stellar performers earn 60 cents raise annually, regardless of how much time that employee has worked for the company. In other words, a superb worker will start at $8 an hour and in six years make $10.60 an hour.
“In order for Walmart to attract good people we need to offer competitive wages and benefits, and we do. We offer pay and benefits that meet or exceed the majority of our competition in every location we operate, and that includes unionized competitors. We’re clearly offering jobs that people want, because last year Walmart received more than 5 million applications to come work in our stores,” said Kory Lundberg, Walmart’s director of National Media Relations.
Participating employees in the Walmart walkout are demanding pay go up to $13 an hour in addition to having better health care benefits.