Walmart Organizers Threaten Black Friday Protests

Activists who walked out in San Leandro and other Bay Area stores have a new tactic in their drive to organize the non-union retailer.


A small contingent of workers "struck" the Walmart on Hesperian Boulevard and four other Bay Area locations yesterday.

Now these union hopefuls are threatening to stage picket lines and flash mobs on Black Friday to get the retailer's attention, according to press reports from Bentonville, Arkansas, where they have gathered to plan strategy.

The workers from San Leandro and the other "striking" stores are part of a group called OUR Walmart. It is backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

The Walmart workers do not have legal standing as a union. The actions this week and those threatened for Black Friday are designed to build support for the union among the ranks of Walmart's sales associates, and to pressure the company into bargaining with them.

San Leandro and the other Bay Area Walmart locations involved in yesterday's symbolic walkout -- in Richmond, Oakland, Fremont and San Jose -- are likely to be at the center of any future agitation.

Yesterday's Patch story on the Walmart "walkout" prompted strong opinions.

"Wal-Mart wages are on par, and benefits are on average better, than liberal darling Target," wrote David Nierengarten. "Union leadership has targeted Wal-Mart for over 10 years that I can remember. As you know, they've failed for over a decade just in my memory, indicating that unions aren't popular even with the supposedly oppressed Wal-Mart employees."

Patch contributor Richard Mellor, who writes a blog called "Facts for For Working People" expressed an opposing view.

"The courage of these Wal Mart workers is inspiring," he wrote. "It's something U.S. workers can be proud of. It's a positive development that the unions are involved in organizing Wal-Mart workers rather than opposing the company in the community."

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Ken Briggs October 11, 2012 at 11:07 PM
so walmart got it,s highly paid heads say how good they are with out a union . so how much better are they with a union how about better health insurance and have full tine help . what does walmart willing to give . then what about those new food stores that they want to bring into the bay area .
Fred Eiger October 12, 2012 at 02:13 AM
A "flash mob"??? This UFCW are a bunch of whinning babies.
Ken Briggs October 12, 2012 at 02:34 AM
where do you go to sign up to hold up a picket sign ? I am 4 hire .
Ken Briggs October 12, 2012 at 02:36 AM
what friday is black friday
Fred Eiger October 12, 2012 at 02:01 PM
But since I am biased against unions, I will say anything to make them look bad.


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