At least 30 workers from six different Seattle-area Walmarts have gone on strike, organisers and Walmart staff from the OUR Walmart group said. The group, which is not a union but has close ties with the labour movement, is seeking to protest what it says is low pay, too few hours and retaliation by managers against workers who speak out.
Seattle Walmart worker Sara Gilbert said she had taken the decision to go on strike to protest the fact that she could only make around $14,000 dollars a year. Despite working as a customer service manager, she said, her family remained reliant on food stamps and other benefits. "I work full time at the richest company in the world," she said.
The Seattle strike is aimed at kickstarting a series of protests in the run-up to Black Friday, when more than a thousand separate demonstrations ranging from walk-outs to leafleting to flash mobs are planned. So far they are set to hit Walmart stores in Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Washington DC.
But organisers say they expect it eventually to be country-wide. "You are going to see unprecedented activity starting now and going into the holiday season. This is going to continue this year and next year," said Dan Schlademan, director of the union-backed Making Change at Walmart group which is helping organise the effort.
There is the real reason. Union thugs itching to unionize the workers.