News Column

Walmart Workers Launch Surprise Strike

November 6, 2013

UPI Business News

walmart
Walmart store (file photo)

A Walmart spokesman said striking workers in southern California had not disrupted business Wednesday.

"Customers are shopping and associates are working and that's the thing we're seeing all around LA County," said Kory Lundberg, a spokesman for the discount retailer.

Activists said strikes were under way as part of a series of protests planned before the holiday shopping season, the Huffington Post reported.

OUR-Walmart, a non-union workers group said it decided to conduct the work stoppage in Southern California following a successful strike action in Florida, Salon online reported.

The group, which is affiliated with the United Food & Commercial Workers union, said it would also hold a rally in downtown Los Angeles Thursday and has called for a Black Friday strike, as well.

Workers complaints included wages, scheduling and alleged retaliation by the company, which reportedly fired 20 workers who took part in a work stoppage in June, Salon said.

"When the customers come out and join us on this picket line, Walmart will get the message that the customers aren't happy," said Martha Sellers, a Walmart employee in Paramount.

"We are so understaffed that people are just leaving their baskets and walking out, because the lines are so long."

OUR-Walmart said a strike of 80 workers in Hialeah, Fla., pushed the retailer to allow workers who wanted them 40-hour work weeks and granted workers expecting raises of 40 cents per hour, raises of 50 cents per hour, instead.

The strike also forced the store to transfer a manager and granted workers pay for the hours they had been on strike, OUR-Walmart said.

Walmart did not respond to a request to comment on OUR-Walmart's claims, Salon said.

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Original headline: Walmart workers walk off job in Southern California


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