Local Chapter: San Jose
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 23, 2012
Contact: Cathy Deppe, (408) 206-7992 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s WalMart protests at San Jose’s Story Road Super Center brought out hundreds of community supporters for a vigorous display of community outrage. WalMart, the largest private company in the United States, was raking in the dollars on this busy “Black Friday.” But those dollars and profits stay firmly in the deep pockets of the Walton family, perhaps the richest family in the world, while workers’ pay remains among the lowest of all retailers. Pay is so low that WalMart has handed out information about Food Stamps and Medicaid applications as part of their job applications.
Women workers, in particular, face discriminatory pay and promotion practices that keep them in low-paying cashier positions. And all workers face fierce retaliation by this company just for standing up for their rights. On this day, WalMart workers in 1,000 stores across the U.S.A. walked off the job in protest. And communities everywhere came out to stand with them.
One energetic protester was a ten-year-old Milpitas Johanne Larsen who carried a “Shame on WalMart” sign as she marched with a large group of 9to5 Bay Area Working Women. “I want all these workers to have good jobs,” said Johanne Larsen. “They deserve respect. Everyone does.”
9to5’s helpline fields calls about WalMart’s practices all the time. In one call, a woman told of being called in on a Saturday and kept waiting for five hours before being given a final paycheck and told she was fired. Her paycheck did not include the five hours. In the Dukes v. Walmart class action case recently heard at the Supreme Court, one woman worker recalled being told by her supervisor to stop requesting consideration for a promotion, because, he said, “You have two strikes against you – you’re Black and you’re a woman. It ain’t gonna happen.”
Protesters left the WalMart today after a couple of hours, some to head home to families and some to head for the next WalMart in San Leandro. What began today is just the first of many mass protests to come. Look for protests to continue until all WalMart workers have the right to speak up for their rights.