Wal-Mart workers across the country are planning to stage unprecedented walkouts and protests on Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. Wal-Mart has sought to counter the effort by filing an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, and, according to critics, threatening workers with retaliation. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! talks with William Fletcher, a Wal-Mart worker and member of the employee advocacy group OUR Walmart; and Josh Eidelson, a contributing writer for The Nation.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman with Nermeen Shaikh.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: The nation’s largest private employer Walmart is seeking to block a series of protests and actions critical of its labor conditions at stores nationwide. Late last week, Walmart filed an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, or UFCW, claiming it’s unlawfully trying to disrupt its business. The move comes just days before a group of Walmart workers are preparing to strike on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States. The strike will be accompanied by rallies and flash mobs outside Walmart stores nationwide. One of the groups organizing the protests is OUR Walmart — the Organization United for respect at Walmart. In an advocacy video, Walmart workers explain why they are planning to walk out.
WALMART EMPLOYEE: Because together, we’re stronger than alone.
WALMART EMPLOYEE: Because I like to make a difference for those who are too scared to come forward.
WALMART EMPLOYEE: Because Walmart can afford to pay us enough to live better.
WALMART EMPLOYEE: Stand up, live better.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, to talk more about this, we’re joined by two guests: William Fletcher, a Walmart worker, Josh Eidelson is a contributing writer for The Nation Magazine. We welcome you both to Democracy Now!. Let’s go to William in Los Angeles first. What are your plans for Friday?
WILLIAM FLETCHER: So for Friday, we’re planning to have walked out that many of our stores, the one that I work at already being one of them. We’re hoping to have as much of the community join us so that we can try to make a strong impression so that Walmart will listen to us and end retaliation that happens in the stores nationwide.
More after the jump.