In just three days, several hundred Wal-Mart strikers will gather to protest the company's poverty-level wages and disrespect of workers at its annual meeting in Bentonville, Ark.
The June 7 protest will cap two weeks of direct actions by the strikers and their supporters, including freedom rides from all corners of the country. The workers are hoping for a show of solidarity at hundreds of Wal-Mart stores as they protest in Bentonville.
Teamsters International Vice President Steve Vairma is urging locals to support the workers by handbilling at a nearby Wal-Mart store. The UFCW's "Making Change at Wal-Mart" campaign is making three fliers available: one for associates, one for the store manager and one for the general public.
Cindy Murray, a Wal-Mart striker from Maryland, spoke to Teamsters from around the country on a conference call today. "We ask that you guys join us on the ground and keep us in our prayers," Murray said.
She was one of the freedom riders who have driven a total of 151 hours for 11,189 miles on six buses from Southern California, Seattle, Northern California, Washington, D.C., Miami and Chicago. They stopped to pick up more strikers in Phoenix, Albuquerque and Clovis, N.M., Salt Lake City, Denver, Wichita, Cincinnati, Louisville and St. Louis. Now they're in Bentonville, preparing for the Friday action.
"We've got some brave soldiers here," Murray said. "We'll be joined in Bentonville to let them know why we're on strike. We're not going to take it anymore. We need a living wage, we need health care."
Vairma commended Murray for her courage and dedication to the cause. "We will do what we can," he said, and reiterated his call for Teamsters to support the strikers and to reach out to everyone in their area.
Click here to find out how you can show your support for the brave Wal-Mart strikers. Follow their progress at Making Change at Walmart.