Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wal-Mart Employees Self-Organize

Wal-Mart Employees Self-Organize First Ever 200 Plus Employee Protest Outside a Wal-Mart Store in Florida

Contact: Chris Kofinis of the WakeUpWal-Mart Campaign, 202-486-6422

MIAMI, Oct. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Today, over 200 Wal-Mart employees, at the Hialeah Gardens, Fla., Wal-Mart store (near Miami), self-organized the first-ever large scale employee protest at a Wal-Mart store.

According to Wal-Mart workers who contacted, over 250 Wal-Mart associates are currently outside the store protesting the negative effects of Wal-Mart's open availability policy, hours being cut, scheduling changes, and a new, punitive attendance policy. These Wal-Mart employees say they have had enough of executives in Bentonville, Ark., ignoring their concerns, and they are willing to take to the street to counter Wal-Mart's changes which are pushing out hard-working, loyal Wal- Mart employees.

The following statement is attributable to Paul Blank, campaign director for

"For too long, Wal-Mart has ignored the serious workplace concerns of over 1.39 million Wal-Mart associates. Since the beginning of this year, Wal-Mart has essentially declared war on its employees by cutting hours, reducing the number of full-time workers, imposing salary caps, instituting an open door policy, cutting health care benefits, and even instituting a new, punitive attendance policy. Wal-Mart's changes negatively impact its workers and are all a sinister attempt to push out loyal employees who Wal-Mart believes cost them to much. It is wrong and it must stop.

"As we can all see from this incredible protest in Hialeah, Fla., Wal-Mart workers, having been pushed to the point of no return, are standing up to Wal-Mart executives and fighting back. Contrary to Wal-Mart's heartless changes, employees are not commodities or products on the shelf and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. These employees are hard- working people with real families and they deserve our support.

"Once again, we call on Wal-Mart to realize that there is a better path. The American people, Wal-Mart associates, and elected leaders are demanding that Wal-Mart end its war on its workers and change into a more responsible employer. In the end, Wal-Mart should not doubt for a moment that this is just the beginning of workers speaking out and their calls will continue to get louder. We can only hope for Wal-Mart's sake and its employees, that Wal-Mart hears these calls for change and does what is right."


Editor's Note: Wal-Mart employees at the protest are available for comment.

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