Huffington Post reports:
After braving 103-degree heat as they marched over the past six days, warehouse workers who deliver goods for Walmart concluded their 50-mile pilgrimage protesting working conditions with a rally in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday. Met by hundreds of supporters on the steps of LA City Hall, the weary workers told the crowd: ...
"The march, walking in the heat, was very easy compared to working in the warehouse," Raymond Castillo, a 23-year-old warehouse worker who marched with the group, told The Huffington Post.
Castillo is one of about 30 warehouse workers who walked out of the large warehouse where they were employed in Mira Loma, Calif., last week, even though their jobs are not protected by a union....
On Monday, the workers delivered a letter, with more than 37,000 signatures, to the Walmart office in downtown LA, Elizabeth Brennan, a spokeswoman for Warehouse Workers United, told HuffPost. The letter says that workers are forced to work in 120-degree heat without a fan, that the heat and pollutants make the workers vomit and get bloody noses, and that workers are made to work without clean water or regular breaks and with faulty, dangerous equipment.
The six-day pilgrimage followed the route taken by the trucks that carry the goods they load -- from Riverside, Calif., to downtown Los Angeles. The workers and supporters slept on church floors along the way and relied on supporters for meals (see photos below).A few facts about Walmart:
- The six Walmart heirs are worth as much as the bottom 41.5 percent of U.S. households, or 48.8 million households.
- Walmart is one of the biggest recipients of food stamp dollars, with food stamps providing between 25 percent and 40 percent of stores' revenue.
- Walmart employees are paid so little they rely on food stamps at a cost to the taxpayer of approximately $420,000 per year, per store.
- Walmart employees are the single biggest recipients of Medicaid in the 24 states that track the data (and probably in every other state, too).
- Walmart employees must rely on government-subsidized health care and costs Medicaid an average of $898 per employee a year.