Friday, February 20, 2015

Teamsters congratulate OUR Walmart workers for fighting and winning

Teamsters welcome the news that Walmart workers who spoke out and took action won much-deserved pay hikes for 500,000 workers along with better hours.

Since the first Black Friday strike 2012, Teamsters stood side by side with members of OUR Walmart  Sometimes Teamsters and Walmart workers got arrested together.
Gilbert Castillo, business agent for Teamsters Local 396, arrested in LA in
solidarity with Walmart workers in 2012. 
@ChangeWalmart tweeted their thanks to the Teamsters:
#Walmart is feeling the pressure thx to allies like you, Jim Hoffa & @Teamsters. Thx for all you do as we keep it up for $15 and full time!
They've shown their appreciation in another way. In November, 50 Walmart workers walked picket lines with Teamsters and striking port drivers.  and Taylor Farms workers.

Walmart workers and Teamsters join port truck drivers in a strike last summer.
Emily Wells is a leader of OUR Walmart, the organization of Walmart workers that has been fighting for better wages and hours at the retailer. She is a soon-to-be-mom paid $9.50 an hour and scheduled for only about 26 hours per week. She said the victory shows the power of solidarity:
We are so proud that by standing together we won raises for 500,000 Walmart workers, whose families desperately need better pay and regular hours from the company we make billions for. We know that this wouldn't have happened without our work to stand together with hundreds of thousands of supporters to change the country's largest employer.
Taxpayers win, too, according to a congressional report. A typical Walmart supercenter requires taxpayers to cough up $900,000 annually to help pay for food stamps, heating aid, Medicaid and other government assistance.
Lori and Mark McCulloch, a Teamster couple, support Walmart workers. 
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa praised Walmart's announcement that it is raising workers' wages, but cautioned the devil is in the details.

“More Walmart workers are reporting they aren’t getting the hours they need," Hoffa said. "Does today’s announcement mean they will?" Hoffa said he is also concerned that Walmart didn’t say anything about the illegal firings of workers who spoke out for better jobs.

"Walmart needs to reinstate all workers who have been fired," Hoffa said.

OUR Walmart's Wells agrees:
Especially without a guarantee of getting regular hours, this announcement still falls short of what American workers need to support our families. With $16 billion in profits and $150 billion in wealth for the owners, Walmart can afford to provide the good jobs that Americans need – and that means $15 an hour, full-time, consistent hours and respect for our hard work.
Teamsters Local 117 members standing with
OUR Walmart in 2013.