Media Coverage: Walmart Employees Protest Treatment

By Don Buckindail

Originally published on 11Alive on November 29, 2013

Walmart workers and supporters have been organizing and gaining support in their protests against Walmart and the way Walmart treats their workers. Because over 70% of Walmart workers are women, most of whom earn less than the federal poverty wage guidelines for a family of three, 9to5 has been involved in supporting Walmart strikers throughout the year [1]. This Black Friday, Walmart workers and supporters protested for better treatment of employees and an end to retaliation outside of 1,500 Walmart stores across the county [2].  Here in Atlanta, 9to5 members joined with Jobs with Justice to show their support for Walmart strikers by marching outside the Howell Mill Rd. Walmart. Our Chapter Director, Charmaine Davis, gave a statement during the march to 11Alive:

“We believe if you’re working 40 hours a week, you need to be making a living wage. You shouldn’t have to rely on public assistance in order to feed your family. And we know that many Walmart workers do have to rely on public assistance because they’re making less than $25,000 a year. These are poverty wages and we think Walmart can do better.”

ATLANTA — Black Friday shoppers at Walmart stores here in Georgia and across the country were greeted by protesters today.

Walmart employees and activists with “Jobs for Justice” took part in 1,500 protests nationwide calling for better treatment of employees.

Members of the “Atlanta Jobs with Justice” group marched outside the Howell Mill Rd. Walmart.

Walmart is the country’s largest retailer making more than $17 billion in profits.

Demonstrators say Walmart’s money should trickle-down to the people who work there.

Protesters told 11Alive, Walmart isn’t the only retailer they’re after, but say if they can get Walmart to pay higher wages, other stores will follow suit.

Walmart VP of Corporate Communications David Tovar issued a statement saying “For our part, we want to be absolutely clear about our jobs, the pay and benefits we offer our associates, and the role retail jobs play in the U.S. economy. Walmart provides wages on the higher end of the retail average with full-time and part-time associates making, on average, close to $12.00 an hour… Of course, we have entry-level jobs and we always will.”

In a written statement to 11Alive, Walmart said to their knowledge, no Atlanta or Georgia associates participated in the protests.

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