Monday, November 25, 2013

Walmart CEO quits as more workers strike in Miami, St. Paul

Walmart workers and supporters walk the picket line today in St. Paul, Minn. 
Walmart workers went on strike this morning in Miami and St. Paul, the eighth and ninth such strikes in recent weeks as the company announced CEO Mike Duke is stepping down.

 Duke makes 6,132 times what the average Walmart worker earns.

The International Business Times reports,
The chief executive of giant US retailer Walmart has stepped down while the company battles with a series of clashes with workers. 
Mike Duke, who is heading off to retirement, is to be replaced by company veteran Doug McMillon to take the helm of one of the world's largest companies in February next year.
Walmart worker and OUR Walmart member Tiffany Beroid put out a statement saying the change of leadership is a testament to the pressure the company is under:
We’re happy to see Mr. McMillon acknowledge the hard work of associates in his statement this morning, and we hope that this appreciation translates into improving jobs for Walmart workers. Americans nationwide are looking to Walmart to improve jobs and strengthen our economy, and Mr. McMillon has an opportunity to be a leader in moving Walmart in the right direction, not just in offering more empty promises. We sincerely hope that Mr. McMillon will answer the country’s calls for Walmart to publicly commit to paying $25,000 a year, providing full-time work and ending its illegal retaliation against its own employees.
ThinkProgress reported on today's strike in Miami:
Walmart workers went on strike on in Miami on Monday morning, following strikes in Tampa on Saturday and in Sacramento, CA on Friday. 
Katie, who has worked at a store in Miami for three years and makes $8.75 an hour, told ThinkProgress she’s striking to improve conditions for both herself and her coworkers. “We’re going on strike for better benefits, for better pay for associates, and for respect,” she said.
The strikes make eight this month, coming after workers called out or walked off the job in Dallas, cities in Ohio, Chicago, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Workers also went on strike in Miami in October.
And in St. Paul, the Union Advocate reports:
The nationwide wave of Walmart strikes hit Minnesota this morning, when three women who work at the Brooklyn Center store informed management they were going on an unfair-labor-practices strike. 
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and Rev. Doug Mork of nearby Cross of Glory Lutheran Church accompanied the workers into the store, and dozens of supporters from faith, labor and community groups greeted them on their way out, ready to erect a picket line. 
Andrea Williams, April Williams and Lillian Griffin said they decided to take a stand after attempts to organize for better wages, meaningful benefits and a voice on the job drew retaliation from store managers.
Throughout the country, Walmart workers and supporters from the Teamsters and other unions plan to demonstrate against abuse and poverty wages on Black Friday. If you haven't found a Walmart protest near you, click here to find one.