Various labor unions and community groups, including the Coalition for Economic Survival demonstrated outside a Walmart store at Baldwin Hill s Crenshaw Plaza in South Los Angeles to demand higher wages, guaranteed health insurance and Walmart's promise that it will invest profits in communities. The rally, sponsored by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and Warehouse Workers United took place on Thursday, April 19. 2012.
Speakers included Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles President Rev. Eric Lee, as well as Walmart retail and warehouse workers.The rally was a culmination of a two-day National Action Summit organized by the UFCW, which brought together organizers from across the country working on the Making Change at Walmart, a campaign challenging Walmart to help rebuild our economy and strengthen working families.Anchored by the United Food & Commercial Workers, Making Change at Walmart is a coalition of Walmart associates, union members, small business owners, religious leaders, community organizations, women's advocacy groups, multi-ethnic coalitions, elected officials and ordinary citizens who believe that changing Walmart is vital for the future of our country. As the largest private employer in the United States and the world, Walmart is setting the standard for jobs. That standard is so low that hundreds of thousands of its employees are living in poverty--even many that work full-time.Because of its size and political influence, Walmart is affecting much more than just working conditions. Although it has gained much fanfare for its efforts in environmentalism, sustainability has mostly been a public relations campaign for Walmart.
Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo
Across the country, workers and communities are coming together as one to say enough is enough. It is time for fundamental change at Walmart.The largest Walmart demonstration in the history of the U.S. is now being planned in Los Angeles on June 30, 2012 to protest the plans to open a new Walmart grocery store in L.A.'s Chinatown. The protest will send a loud, unified and strong message, "No Walmart in Chinatown."
Larry Gross is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES). He has been with CES for 42 years, since its inception in 1973.
CES is a grassroots, multi-racial, multi-ethnic tenants' rights organization serving low and (more...)