From Union City—Walmart workers staged a peaceful sit-in outside Walmart’s DC offices on Thursday, connecting their struggle for justice with the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for jobs and civil rights being celebrated this week. Ten were arrested, along with two supporters. Singing “We Shall Not Be Moved” the workers and their supporters shut down the intersection of 8th and G before blocking the entrance to Walmart’s 8th street offices, chanting “Workers outside this door, we got the workers outside this door!” as police and Walmart execs stood by. The workers blocking the door were from across the country, taking action on behalf of some 70 who OUR Walmart says have been illegally fired or disciplined for speaking out about working conditions since June.
“We’re setting a Labor Day deadline for Walmart to reinstate those who have been illegally fired,” said Brandon Garrett of Baker, Louisiana, adding that “actions will intensify around the country” if Walmart fails to act. “I’m tired of retaliation, of not getting enough hours” said Cindy Murray, a longtime worker at the Laurel, MD Walmart. “We’re going to keep standing up to live better. This is not the end, this is just the beginning!” Added another worker, “This is so empowering, to be here confronting Walmart with all this incredible support, especially this week in Washington when we’re remembering Dr. King and all those who fought for civil and worker rights.”
Supporters can sign a petition; upcoming related actions include the August 27 Town Hall on the Large Retailer Accountability Act and the September 5 Enough is Enough: Stand with the Walmart 60!