Dozens arrested at protest demanding better pay for Wal-Mart workers

In the Chinatown area of Los Angeles, over 50 people have been arrested during a protest demanding better wages for Walmart workers. The trade union organised action involved more than 200 trade unionists, Walmart workers, and their supporters, who gathered outside a new Walmart store and sat in the road – blocking the road for a period of time before being arrested and dragged off. The police kept all those arrested in jail overnight unless they could find $500 bail.

Submitted by working class … on November 8, 2013

Glen Arnodo, a spokesperson for the protestors said that:

“The event was to draw attention to Wal-Mart’s role in income equality. Wal-Mart really perpetuates and epitomizes the unequal distribution of wealth that we have in this country right now. Most of the people taking part in this peaceful protest were union members, including teachers and nurses, community activists and others.”

A Wal-Mart lickspittle claimed that:

“All Wal-Mart stores in Los Angeles County remain open. We’ve seen time and again that there are virtually no Wal-Mart associates participating in these orchestrated events because they know the truth about working for Wal-Mart. We provide our associates with more opportunities for career growth and greater economic security for their family than many other companies in America.”

The boss’s lackey who gave the interview must not be aware that Wal-Mart’s wages are so low that the average Wal-Mart store (300 workers) claims on average $1.2 million a year in welfare payments to boost their shit wages.

Wal-Mart worker, Anthony Goytia, a father of two, claims that he is only paid $12,000 a year. He said that the electricity is cut off on a regular basis as he cannot afford to pay his bills. He takes regular pay-day loans, attends food-banks, and participates in clinical trials, and sells his blood. He has been pushing for full time hours for over a year, but his boss prefers to take on temporary workers so that they can be dismissed at any time.

Campaigners claim that Wal-Mart can afford to pay every employee a minimum of $25,000 a year, citing the $17,000,000,000 profit that was made last year and the owners (Walton family) fortune of billions of dollars – which equates to the entire wealth of the bottom 42% of American families.


Ian Schlom

10 years 5 months ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Ian Schlom on November 14, 2013

Was there any involvement in the protest by OUR Walmart members?
I like how activists are ramping up civil disobedience tactics against Walmart.


10 years 4 months ago

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Submitted by pikatron on November 30, 2013

October 18th, 2013, Miami/Florida - short film about the 80 workers who went on strike spontaneously to protest against their low wages and the way the management is treating them.


10 years 4 months ago

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Submitted by Hieronymous on November 30, 2013

Actually, OUR Walmart admitted that they didn't organize that genuine wildcat, but they condoned it.

But it wasn't the first wildcat there, because workers went out at that Walmart in Hialeah Gardens, Florida in 2006, when 200 workers walked out. And yes, as reported here on libcom, they did it again on October 18 this year when 80 workers wildcatted. In the latter, they won their demands -- unlike the tightly choreographed press conferences, parading as strikes, that the union front groups organize that never go beyond marches-on-the-media.

The pro-management PR firms are ramping up their counter-attacks and calling these pseudo-strikes "Potemkin village protests," which isn't too far from the truth -- sadly. So unless we get some confirmed first-hand reports about these rallies/press conferences, it's just Walmart PR firm vs. UFCW PR firm.


10 years 4 months ago

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Submitted by syndicalist on November 30, 2013

While I take a supportive yet critical perspective on these events, at some point, a majority of those on the picket lines have to be Walmart workers. From a tactical view, I can see how the encouragement by sincere non-Walmart-workers can be helpful. But without any significant worker support, it looses a lot of creed and even good meaning folks loose a certain interest. And then, like Hieronomous wrote, "it's just Walmart PR firm vs. UFCW PR firm."

And the channeling of this stuff into wage laws alone will continue to dampen and derail any real worker spirit that may have developed, is developing or might develop. But that's what the reformists do anyway, channel stuff into a box they can fully control.