Friday, January 28, 2011

MAKING CHANGE AT WALMART STANDS IN SUPPORT OF LOCAL VOICES

From the UFCW International:

Community coalitions across the country push for quality job creation,
challenge Walmart on new stores in major U.S. cities

WASHINGTON – Coalitions in cities targeted for new or expanded Walmart stores took action yesterday to rally for sustainable, quality job creation in their communities. Across the country, community members, elected officials, religious leaders, chambers of commerce, small business owners and others joined together and spoke out to ensure the jobs being offered by Walmart meet strong standards for healthy, growing communities. These coalitions plan to engage local policymakers about the need for quality jobs and responsible business practices as the real path to economic recovery.

Events and announcements happened in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland. Planned events in New York City; Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. were rescheduled due to snow. The following Locals are active in these cities’ coalitions: 5, 8GS, 338*, 400, 770, 881, 888, 1102*, 1167, 1428, 1445, 1500, and 1776. Regions 1 and 8 and the RWDSU District Council of the UFCW are playing major coordinating roles in this effort. Photos and video from yesterday can be viewed at http://www.ufcw.org/makingchange/action.cfm

"As a grocery store employee and Chicago native, I think we must create jobs that pay fairly and raise standards for the entire industry," said J. Marie Hopkins, a UFCW member for 36 years, cashier at Jewel Food Stores in Chicago, and resident of the 21st Ward. "That's why my fellow union members in the UFCW are standing with these community coalitions. We demand a say about the kind of businesses that come into our neighborhoods."

Hopkins is one of the many UFCW members around the country who is committed to supporting Walmart Associates in their work to get the respect from the company that they deserve. Two Walmart Associates from the Baldwin Park, California store spoke at yesterday’s event in Los Angeles.

In cities across the United States, Walmart is seeking access to new markets and customers, spurring local and national debate for good reason. These local coalitions have formed to educate the public and policymakers about the impact of Walmart’s business practices, and call for quality jobs that allow people to sustain their families. Walmart has been documented for its controversial and sometimes illegal employment practices, poverty-level wages and for ranking highest for the number of employees qualifying for state government health care assistance.

Making Change at Walmart, a campaign of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, stands in solidarity with these community coalitions in major cities across the country as they push for higher standards for working people and question Walmart’s entry or further expansion into their cities. See www.ufcw.org/makingchange for more information.

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UFCW News Service
www.ufcw.org

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