Wal-Mart Employees Seek Respect, Better Pay & Working Conditions
We all know that workers are Wal-Mart are ill-treated. Low pay, part-time hours, and few benefits are just some of the hardships they endure. But Wal-Mart workers are fighting back and they need our support! Support Wal-Mart workers.
- More information, suggestions for ways to get involved, and a list of planned actions are available from JWM's partner Interfaith Worker Justice. Find out if an action is already being planned near you.
Recent developments: During the last months of 2012, Wal-Mart workers made history with actions that many people thought would be impossible. Track events as they unfold at Making Change at Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart is the largest corporation in the world and the largest private employer in the United States. It has the power and influence to set a standard for fair workplace practices. Instead, Wal-Mart engages in systematic abuses of workers:
Walmart’s everyday low wages by Christine Owens, Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 21, 2012. Wal-Mart workers who are protesting their low pay, poor working conditions, and retaliation by managers are “some of the brightest hope for challenging the downward tide in job quality we’ve witnessed over the past decades.”
Wal-Mart labor protests grow, organziers say by Steven Greenhouse, New York Times October 5, 2012.
Wal-Mart workers stage a walkout in California by Steven Greenhouse, New York Times October 5, 2012.
Weighing the Legal Ramifications of the Wal-Mart Bribery Case by Peter J. Henning, New York Times, April 23, 2012.
Wal-Mart Vows to Fix Its Controls by Andrew Martin, New York Times, April 24, 2012.
Bribes without jail time by James B. Stewart, New York Times, April 29, 2012.
Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle by David Barstow, New York Times, April 21, 2012. "Confronted with evidence of widespread corruption in Mexico, top Wal-Mart executives focused more on damage control than on rooting out wrongdoing."
- low wages
- few benefits
- failure to pay employees for hours worked
- anti-union behavior
- use of sweatshops
- abuse of immigrants
- displacement of smaller, local stores
Our God is a God of justice, a justice that extends even to the workplace and the big-box store. We are called to seek justice for Wal-Mart workers.
Support Wal-Mart workers. Hold a prayer vigil to call for Jubilee at Wal-Mart.
As Wal-Mart celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, join in a call for Jubilee at Wal-Mart. Jubilee, as described in Leviticus, is a redistribution of wealth and power. Wal-Mart must raise wages, improve benefits, and respect workers. Hold a prayer vigil calling for Jubilee at Wal-Mart. Interfaith Worker Justice has provided materials that could be useful for the vigil.
Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart (OUR Wal-Mart)
Workers at Wal-Mart are coming together to seek respect and dignity in their workplace. Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart (OUR Wal-Mart) is a group of Wal-Mart employees who are seeking change at the world’s largest retailer. They are seeking support and endorsements of their efforts from congregations and other organizations and individuals. Endorse the OUR Wal-Mart effort at Making Change at Wal-Mart.
A new webpage, Wal-Mart at 50: How Making Change at Wal-Mart Today Can Rebuild America, gives the stories of Wal-Mart associates (employees), warehouse workers, customers, and community and global allies. This multi-faceted, interactive project will highlight people from across America and around the globe sharing how Wal-Mart has impacted their lives and communities and why Wal-Mart must change so the next 50 years will be different. (Wal-Mart is 50 years old this year.)
What You Can Do
- Hold a prayer vigil calling for Jubilee at Wal-Mart. Interfaith Worker Justice has provided materials that could be useful for the vigil.
Read a two-page resource describing many of Wal-Mart's abusive practices. You may also download this version, which includes endnotes.
Send a letter to Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke urging more socially responsible practices.
Read the UCNews cover story on Wal-Mart.
Let us know what you are doing to call Wal-Mart to more responsible practices. Stories (up to 300 words in length) and pictures will be posted on this site.
Ms. Edith Rasell, Ph.D.
Minister for Economic Justice
Program Team Based in Cleveland, Ohio
Justice And Witness Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.