Friday, November 23, 2012

Wal-Mart Workers Will Walk Off The Job On Black Friday: Gothamist:

A labor attorney with the firm Steptoe & Johnson told the CSM that the protesters are likely to withstand any challenges from Wal-Mart: "The bottom line here is that labor would not be talking about this strike on Black Friday if they were not well aware that there are ways to pull it off without violating the law. Labor holds the upper hand here so long as they are able to persuade a sufficient number of employees to participate to make the impact felt."

Wal-Mart employees are so underpaid that they are the number one reason behind the burgeoning role of food stamps in the country. Wal-Mart's CEO makes more money in one hour than nearly all of the chain's employees will earn in a year. A worker making $20 an hour told Allison Kilkenny that he and his better-paid peers are "required to be [Wal-Mart's] slaves," and cited an instance in which he loaded heavy boxes in sub-zero temperatures with an open wound to his leg because a supervisor didn't want the injury recorded.

Meanwhile, the chain has received more than $1.2 billion in tax breaks, grants, and land from the government to build its vast empire (not to mention the massive bribery scheme the company ran to corner the market in Mexico). The workers are striking for a raise of their minimum wage to $13, and for affordable health care, a better work schedule, and overall better working conditions.