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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/23/12

Workers March to Demand Better Conditions from Walmart.

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March down to Sherman Heights Market
March down to Sherman Heights Market
(Image by Nadin Abbott)
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March down to Sherman Heights Market by Nadin Abbott

As the marchers came down chants started to be heard. "Wallmart eschucha, estamos en la lucha," (Walmart listen, we are in the fight). "1,2.3,4 we don't want your Walmart store, 5,6,7,8, Walmart discriminates). "Los Pueblos unidos, james seran vencidos." (The people united, will never be defeated.)

According to Lorena Gonzales, Secretary-Treasurer CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Labor Councils, there were close to a thousand people. They came from all trades, and a large list of community groups. They came together to demand that Walmart treat it's workers fairly.

Carlos Martinez by Nadin Abbott

I had an opportunity to talk with Carlos Martinez, a warehouse worker at NFI in Ontario. They are on strike because of the working conditions at the plant. You may think that China has bad working conditions, this is in the United States. Here are the major complaints from the workers, and they are very serious.

"Workers do not have drinkable water, there is no ventilation in either the warehouse or the trailers." Workers work for $8.00\hour, and nobody gets a forty hour week. This way they avoid benefits. Moreover the schedules worked are unpredictable, which means workers cannot plan to get a second job. Some shifts are two to four hours longs, while others are four to eight. The week is either four or five days long.

OSHA mandates breaks, but workers at this facility do not get them, nor do they know they can get them. As Martinez put it, "nobody knows they have a right to get breaks." Even going to the bathroom is penalized, and workers are discriminated for doing such.

The company, MFI, just wants the trucks to come in and out.

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Writer, blogger, journalist, based in San Diego. Started doing this with Occupy and has grown from there. As a trained historian I was struck by Occupy, which will be considered an important moment in US History, at leaset in my opinion.
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