Friday, July 31, 2009

Wake Up Wal-Mart & Wal-Mart Watch Merge

WAL-MART WATCH JOINS WAKEUPWALMART.COM TO HOLD AMERICA’S LARGEST PRIVATE EMPLOYER ACCOUNTABLE FOR PROMISES MADE

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced that Wal-Mart Watch has joined with WakeUpWalMart.com to form one organization to maximize the ability for Walmart workers to win a voice on the job and bring change to the entire retail industry.

"We find ourselves at a critical moment in our country - working families are struggling to make ends meet, while corporations like Walmart continue to reap record profits," said UFCW President Joe Hansen. "Walmart workers across America are standing up and demanding change, and the UFCW is standing with them to achieve the health care and labor law reforms that will restore and expand the middle class. The UFCW is the labor union for retail workers and we will not let Walmart, as the world’s largest retailer, shirk its responsibility to the 1.4 million employees who work for the company."

"As Walmart workers continue to speak out to transform their jobs, we believe they are best served by a single organization dedicated to supporting Walmart workers and holding the retail giant accountable for its actions," said SEIU President Andy Stern. "Walmart has made a lot of promises to working families, and we plan to hold them accountable for making those changes."

Walmart earns $34,880 in profit every minute, yet only 50 percent of Walmart workers are covered by the company's health care plan, because Walmart premiums and deductibles are unaffordable. Workers' schedules -- and therefore wages -- are shrinking, and when workers stand up and demand changes, they are confronted with special squad of "attitude" enforcers straight from company headquarters in Bentonville. If workers persist in standing up, they are shown the door.

"We are ready for change, and feel that if we stand together, we can change this company for the better from the inside," said Cynthia Murray, an associate from Laurel, MD. "We work too hard to be pushed aside so that company executives can add a few million dollars to their bonuses this year."

In April, thousands of Walmart’s 1.4 million associates across the country united to launch Walmart Workers for Change, the largest effort ever by Walmart workers to demand a voice on the job. Workers in more than 100 stores in 15 states across the country have already joined together. This historic action led to the decision by Wal-Mart Watch to unite its strength with WakeUpWalMart.com.

Joining with WakeUpWalMart.com will:

• Unite hundreds of thousands of activists both online and in neighborhoods across the country to support Walmart workers with one collective voice.

• Allow President Obama and Members of Congress to unite with a newly strengthened group invested in transforming the world’s largest retailer.

• Create a stronger partner for Walmart Workers for Change, the Walmart workers leading the campaign to create good jobs at Walmart from the inside.

• Strengthen efforts to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, which will allow Walmart workers to form unions free from harassment and intimidation; and ensure passage of real and meaningful healthcare reform that holds employers like Walmart accountable.

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The 1.3 million member United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) is America's neighborhood union representing workers in neighborhood grocery stores across the country. UFCW puts dinner on the table for America's families with members working in meatpacking and food processing.
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