A Walmart strike — the first of its kind in the notoriously anti-union company — has spread to six states as workers displeased with conditions within the retail giant fight for better circumstances as Walmart employees.
The Walmart strike appears to be growing, and while Walmart has successfully warded off attempts at unionization in the past, the company faces growing opposition by a massive workforce and employees who have labored under conditions that cut close to the bone with labor laws for a great many years.
According to The Nation, the spate of Walmart strikes began back in June, with a set of demands made by a collective of Walmart employees. The paper explains:
“While not a union making formal demands, the group behind the strikes, OUR Walmart, presented a ‘Declaration of Respect‘ to the company in June. It called for, among other things, a minimum of $13 per hour, full-time jobs for those who want them, predictable work schedules, affordable healthcare and wages and benefits that don’t mean employees have to turn to government assistance to fill in the holes.”
The critique that Walmart’s ability to foist workers off on government assistance, thereby making heavy profits at taxpayer expense, is a common one lobbed at the company. The Nation continues:
“Walmart says the average hourly wage for its full-time workers across the country is $12.40, but an IBISWorld report put that figure at $8.81, barely above the minimum wage.”
Although the numbers are tiny compared to Walmart’s overall workforce, reports indicate an additional 88 employees in several cities walked off the job today in protest of Walmart’s working conditions.
Dan Schlademan, director of the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Making Change At Walmart campaign, says Walmart workers in Texas, Washington State, California, Florida, the Washington DC area, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Minnesota are currently involved in the Walmart strike.