Wal-Mart strikes spread to 12 states (2)

Strikes at Walmart Stores, Warehouses Spread to 12 States: Is the Retail Giant in Trouble?
Democracy Now / By Amy Goodman

Wal-Mart workers are not unionized and have long complained of poor working conditions and inadequate wages. Now they’re standing up and fighting back.

October 10, 2012

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Historic labor protests against the nation’s largest private employer, Wal-Mart, are expanding to 28 stores in 12 states. Organizers are describing the actions as the first retail worker strike in Wal-Mart’s 50-year history. The strike began last week in Los Angeles and has spread to stores in Dallas; Seattle; the San Francisco Bay Area; Miami; the Washington, D.C., area; Sacramento; Chicago; and Orlando.

Wal-Mart workers are not unionized and have long complained of poor working conditions and inadequate wages. According to organizers, employees are protesting company attempts to, quote, “silence and retaliate against workers for speaking out for improvements on the job.” This is Wal-Mart associate Carlton Smith speaking in June at Wal-Mart’s annual shareholder meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas.

CARLTON SMITH: Last year, you made a commitment to us that there would be no retaliation for associates who choose to organize together to help Wal-Mart better, but we continue to experience retaliation against associates who speak out for change.

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