Large Turnout for Lakewood Walmart Strike

 

 

Chhttp://www.examiner.com/article/large-turnout-for-lakewood-walmart-strike

 

Large Turnout for Lakewood Walmart Strike

 

Black Friday
November 23, 2012
By: Chris Time Steele

 

The strike at the Lakewood Walmart located at 7455 W Colfax Ave. began at 8 a.m. on Nov. 23, 2012, and had an estimated turnout of 300 plus people. The strike was in regards to Walmart associates being fired and silenced for speaking out against unfair working conditions, lack of healthcare, and low wages.

OURWalmart and Making Change at Walmart, which is composed of Walmart associates, community organizations, and community members urged customers entering the store to sign their petition to support Walmart workers. Making Change at Walmart is supported by the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW), who were in attendance at the protest. Other organizations who came to support the strike were the Industrial Workers of the World, Colorado Wins, National Education Association, Occupy Denver, ACLU, and UFCW Local 7.

Chants during the strike included: "Walmart listen, we want justice"; "They steal your money and your rights"; and "Walmart escucha, estamos en la lucha." At 9:30 a.m. a delegation delivered a message for the manager to give to corporate about allowing Walmart associates to voice their concerns without fear of being fired. Before the strike occurred most of the 36 check-out lanes were open and by the end of the strike six check-out lanes were open. A delegation was delivered to a Walmart in Castle Rock last night at 8 p.m. and more are scheduled to be made throughout Black Friday around the Denver metropolitan area.

Mark Belkin, the Community Affairs and Organizing Director for UFCW Local 7 spoke at the strike asking Walmart to stop silencing their workers and to let them exercise their American right to speak out against working conditions. "Walmart has awoken a sleeping giant," Belkin said, "Thousands of Walmart associates are speaking up and we are here to support them." Belkin mentioned that President Obama supports Walmart workers organizing and explained that Local 7 is offering support and resources to Walmart associates participating in the strikes. The strike ended with the chant "Know justice, know peace."

Walmart managers and corporate employees were outside each entrance at the Walmart. When I questioned a manager about their thoughts on the protest I was surrounded by six managers and corporate employees who refused to comment and gave me their Media Relations number (1-800-331-0085).

On Black Friday in 2008, a Walmart worker in New York was killed after being trampled by customers and in 2011 in California a woman pepper sprayed a crowd outside a Walmart before the doors opened on Black Friday. This Black Friday, Walmarts from California to Maryland have been participating in strikes.

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My sister who works at

My sister who works at Walmart participated in these protests. My brother-in-law, who is an attorney, said these protests rarely make a difference. But even if that were true, I believe protesting should send the corporations a big message, and that's good enough.