Walmart Strike: Workers Demand $25,000 Per Year, The Right To Organize

A Walmart strike has spread to more than 20 cities in the United States, as workers demand better pay and the ability to organize.

The retail chain has seen a number of worker actions over the past several months, with workers standing up against low pay. The strikes this week were held by a group of working mothers, and came amid reports that Walmart’s top executives received $104 million in taxpayer subsidies in the last six years.

A study by the think tank Demos showed that 1.3 million women working in retail live at or below the poverty line. The report found that if retailers raised wages to the equivalent of $25,000 per year for full time work, close to 500,000 women would be able to move out of poverty.

“I started off at the bottom, like everyone else,” said Linda Haluska, a 52-year-old Walmart employee. “But I’ve seen things change: the erratic scheduling, the lack of flexibility. It’s hard to get a day off when you want. They make it very clear that Walmart comes first. Your job is always on the line.”

The Walmart protests this week included both current workers and the group Our Walmart, an allegiance calling for reform for the retail chain’s workers.

In June 2011, the group traveled to the company’s Arkansas headquarters and presented a “Declaration of Respect” to Walmart. The Declaration called on the company to respect workers and pay at least $13 an hour.

This week’s Walmart strike followed a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board

Earlier this year, the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against Walmart, saying the company illegally retaliating against 60 workers who participated in strikes or protests.

The Walmart protest have dovetailed with other efforts on the part of fast food employees and minimum wage advocates, leading to action in several states. In Washington, D.C., the city council recently approved a measure to increase minimum wage to $11.50 per hour.

Share this article: Walmart Strike: Workers Demand $25,000 Per Year, The Right To Organize
More from Inquisitr