Nov 29, 2012
CWA members from several California locals were outside Walmart stores on Black Friday, supporting Walmart workers’ fight for fair wages, hours and treatment. Members of UPTE Local 9119 joined the crowd at the Richmond store, along with Rep. George Miller, ranking member of the House Education and Labor Committee and part of the House Democratic leadership.
Below: CWAers were part of a huge action in Milwaukee that hit three Walmart stores. Activists gathered outside the stores, then marched inside to show their support for Walmart workers.
CWA members were out in force on Black Friday, standing strong with Walmart employees who are fighting against the company's mistreatment of workers. Walmart routinely cuts workers' hours so that they're not eligible for health care; many Walmart employees earn so little that they are eligible for food stamps to make ends meet.
CWA members joined UFCW activists and other progressive allies at prayer vigils and store demonstrations from New York to Colorado to California. At many demonstrations, the groups delivered letters to management calling on Walmart to stop its mistreatment of workers.
In Milwaukee, members of CWA Local 4603 were part of an awesome labor action at several stores. Dru Zellmer, assistant chief steward at the Local, reported: "We started off at the Capital Court store. The police were out in force and restricted us to the sidewalk. The hundreds in attendance chanted and walked the line. We all piled into buses and moved to the next store. We arrived at the E. Capital store to a police greeting. We surged up the front of the store chanting 'WE SUPPORT THE WALMART WORKERS!' Looking around, we got lots of smiles from the associates on duty. We made our point at that store and headed for the last stop, the 27th Street store. We arrived again to a police greeting. This time there were four cars and two wagons. The officers pulled out their batons and threatened the group as we entered the parking lot. They grabbed a couple of us in front. We pushed by and into the store. We walked around every aisle in the store chanting and waving to all of the associates. One of the women working actually was moved to tears; just seeing that people would stand up for her and her family got to her. It makes it all worth it to provide hope and let these workers know there is a support system out there."
In Reno, Judy Jensen, a member of the CWA Local 9414, told the News Review, "I'm out here to support the workers, not just in Reno, but nationally."
Jensen said, "There's a lot of intimidation going on. I think Walmart can do a much better job of paying their people...You know, they say they give them health care, but there have been at least three studies that show that their workers — because of the wages — are having to live on public assistance."