James Hoffa: Walmart Needs To Show More Thanks For Its Workers

Posted: November 25, 2014
Source: James P. Hoffa, Huffington Post

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday where family and friends gather together and express gratitude for everything in their lives. But those who work at Walmart have little to be thankful for, at least when it comes to their employment.

At a time when income inequality is increasingly rampant in this country, Walmart leads the way in bad-paying jobs. The nation’s largest employer is making $16 billion in profits off the backs of its 1.4 million workers. Most of them make less than $25,000 a year and are not able to count on a steady stream of work or pay each week.

Meanwhile, Walmart’s owner, the Walton family, is the country’s richest. Their wealth totals $150 billion, as much as 43% of American families combined. That’s just not right in a nation that prides itself on equality, opportunity and fairness. Walmart workers are fed up and in 2011 formed OUR Walmart (Organization United for Respect at Walmart). And this holiday season they will be speaking out through the largest set of protests yet.

On Friday, just hours after many Walmart workers are forced to cut their Thanksgiving short to come in and work, company employees will stand up to corporate retaliation by participating in one of 1,600 planned protests nationwide. The Teamsters, other unions and thousands of like-minded Americans will join OUR Walmart members in calling on Walmart to raise their wages and provide full-time work hours.

They will be standing up for fellow workers like 67-year-old Rosa Valenzuela, who was fired just a month short of her 20th anniversary at Walmart. When she raised her voice about the company’s substandard wages and working conditions, the retailer created excuses to terminate her, going so far as to cite a day she reportedly clocked out two minutes late as a reason. Ridiculous!
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