Walmart workers march in LA, saying ‘no thanks’ to new stores
July 5, 2012
More than 4,000 union members and community supporters, including many Walmart workers, marched in Los Angeles Saturday June 30. They opposed the chain’s bid to bring its tornado of destruction into urban centers.
The march was led by 100 current and former Walmart workers, members of Organized United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), who carried the lead banner: “Walmart = Poverty.”
Amanda Greiner, a Walmart worker for seven years in northern California and now a full-time organizer for OUR Walmart, told Labor Notes that Walmart workers are fed up with poverty wages, lack of benefits, part-time hours, and disrespect from management.
Most of Walmart’s workers “are on welfare,” she said, and work “such low part-time hours that we can’t qualify for health insurance.”
Walmart’s pitch to the public is that it has the lowest prices anywhere, offers “competitive” pay, and aids local communities.
Greiner disagrees, pointing to an independent study saying the average wage is $8.81 an hour—not the $12.66 the company claims.
Girshriela Green, who works at the Baldwin Hills Grenshaw Plaza Walmart in L.A.’s Black community, told the LA Wave, “I’m a manager in one of their biggest consumable departments. I make $9.80 and have to depend on county health care and food stamps to make ends meet.
“I’m neglected on a daily basis, but that’s not just my story, that’s the story of Walmart workers nationwide,” Green said. “When I complain to managers they just say there’s a hundred people waiting in line for my job.”