Changing Wal-Mart, Changing Corporate America

Sarah Jaffe has a really enlightening piece at Religion Dispatches looking at why it’s only relatively recently that workers at Wal-Mart have started to successfully organize. One take: Early employees were made to feel part of a family, and that low wages were a necessary trade-off for an employer that respected your values.

Josh Eidelson also has really great coverage at The Nation. He recently spoke to one striker named Colby Harris, who “emphasized that despite issues with low pay and repeated retaliation, he’s committed to remaining a Walmart worker” because “‘if you change Walmart, and you change corporate America, it can really better a lot of people’s lives.’”

Though none of the U.S. stores are officially unionized, a network of employees called OUR Wal-Mart has been organizing the actions. The first strike at Wal-Mart took place in October and actions have been going on since. “Massive” strikes are planned for Black Friday.

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3 Comments / Post A Comment

WaityKatie (#1,696)

Well, the “family atmosphere,” and also maybe the exquisitely organized union-busting practices that WM has had from the beginning. One of those two things probably.

Fig. 1 (#632)

There’s a Wal-Mart in Weyburn, Saskatchewan (Canada) that has successfully unionized but is still fighting tooth-and-nail with corporate HQ. Latest installment here (CBC News).

You do have to wonder what the future of unions is. It’s not bright.

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