Sunday, December 1, 2013

Another Teamster arrested in Black Friday protest

Our Teamster brother Darryl Sullivan goes to jail for justice.
Our Teamster Brother Darryl Sullivan from Local 745 in Dallas was arrested on Black Friday in a peaceful act of civil disobedience to protest Walmart's low wages and employee abuse.

"Going to jail for justice," Brother Sullivan posted on the Teamsters Facebook page.

He's the fourth (that we know of) Teamster to go to jail for protesting the giant retailer's poverty wages and abuse of workers. Three brothers from Teamster Local 396 -- business agent Gilbert Castillo and UPS shop stewards Juan Gutierrez and Ruben Tiscareno -- took arrests a few weeks ago in Los Angeles.

The Black Friday protests, bigger than last year's, escalated pressure on Walmart to raise wages and respect workers. About 1,500 rallies and demonstrations in the U.S. on Friday are just part of a wave of social protest against low-wage employers including port trucking companies, warehouses, fast-food and retail chains and government contractors.

Short, sudden one-day strikes are a feature of the uprising, which is garnering public support. The Ronald McDonald balloon at the annual Macy's Parade inspired chants of "Pay your workers."

The strikes have been accompanied by shocking revelations that Walmart and McDonald's are among the country's biggest welfare queens, requiring massive government handouts for their employees. Walmart employees in Ohio recently held a food drive for needy Walmart employees, and McDonald's advises workers to sell their Christmas presents and break their food into small pieces so they won't feel so hungry.

The Black Friday protest in Balch Springs, Texas.
Teamsters recognize corporations that consign their workers to poverty drive down wages for everyone and depress commercial activity throughout the country. Teamsters have been out in protesting Walmart in Brooklyn, Ohio, Sterling Heights, Minn., Louisville, Ky., Seattle, Wash., Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Los Angeles, and, of course, in the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs, where Brother Sullivan got arrested.

The Associated Press reported:
While Black Friday shoppers loaded up inside Wal-Mart stores, some employees and supporters staged protests outside the retailer, demanding higher wages and more full-time work. 
About 100 people protested Friday morning outside the Balch Springs store, one of many sites targeted across the country on the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season. 
Police arrested 13 people associated with the protest in Balch Springs. Union representatives said there were arrests in eight other cities, including Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, Seattle and Sacramento, Calif...
According to union representatives, 26 people were arrested in St. Paul, Minn., 15 people were arrested in both Sacramento and Seattle, and 13 were arrested in Secaucus, N.J. 
In Balch Springs, officials said the protesters were blocking the east and westbound traffic on the 12300 block of Lake June Road. Police said officers asked protesters to move out of the road, but they did not comply.
Proud of you, Brother Sullivan.