Walmart. On one hand we have the Walton family—Walmart’s owners. With almost $150 billion in wealth, they are the richest family in the nation. On the other hand, we have Walmart workers, most of whom work for less than $25,000 a year. Most are women. And this Thanksgiving, more than 1 million of them have to go to work instead of spending the full day with their families. The following day—Black Friday—thousands of Walmart workers and community allies will be striking and protesting all over the country, calling on Walmart to end retaliation for workers who speak out for better working conditions and pay.
I stand with the Walmart workers. Let me count just some of the reasons why:
For the workers and their families struggling with low pay, insufficient hours and unpredictable schedules that make it impossible to arrange basics like child care and doctors’ visits.
For all of America’s working families whose wages are driven down by Walmart and who are suffering the greatest economic inequality since 1928. The Walton family’s wealth equals the combined wealth of 43% of America’s families.
For the manufacturing workers who have lost their jobs because Walmart—the nation’s largest importer—pressured U.S. companies to move production overseas to meet the company’s demand for low prices at all costs.
For the taxpayers footing the bill for big state and local incentive packages to subsidize the company’s creation of poorly paying jobs.
For Walmart moms-to-be, who are still suffering because their managers fail to accommodate their pregnancies with lighter duty—even though the company boasts it has improved its policies (see the video from Respect the Bump).
Join me in supporting Walmart workers. Sign the petition calling on the Waltons to pay Walmart workers $15 an hour and provide them access to full-time jobs. Then enter your zip code here to find a Black Friday protest near you. I’m taking part in the Portland, Ore., event and I’d love to see you there if you’re in the area.
I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are able to spend it with your family—and, of course, plenty of good food.