Report by Union City—Hundreds of labor and community activists shut down K Street on Thursday as they marched on the Walton Family Foundation’s 18th Street offices to call out the big-box giant for paying low wages while amassing huge wealth for the Walton family. “This is so empowering!” 14-year Walmart Associate Cindy Murray told Union City. “It’s not just about Walmart workers, it’s about everyone who’s underpaid, under-appreciated and overworked in America. We’re taking our country back!”
The Waltons are now worth more than 150 billion dollars, more than nearly half the workers in the country combined. A huge sign saying “Waltons are Robbing America” led the demonstration, along with dozens of Walmart workers with bullhorns. Demonstrators tried to deliver a petition from Walmart workers across the country calling on Walmart to publicly commit to raise pay to $15 an hour and provide consistent, full-time work, but the foundation claimed to be closed for the day. Undeterred, the crowd of activists promised “We’ll be back!” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told the crowd that “sometimes it’s not enough to rally and march” and fifteen Walmart strikers and activists were arrested after sitting in at 18th and K Streets; in New York City, 25 were arrested during a simultaneous Walmart action there.
If the Waltons fail to respond, protesters promise to return to Walmart stores on Black Friday. The march was preceded by a rally at the AFL-CIO at which a number of political and community allies, including DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Maryland State Senator Roger Manno pledged their support for the “Fight for $15.”
Check out the photos from the event here! Our favorites? The aerial views of the street take over!
You can also track the discussion from the event by searching for the hashtag #Fightfor15 on Twitter