May 13, 2013
Washington, DC- Today, the Making Change at Walmart campaign and its coalition partners announced the launch of a new website www.ReallyWalmart.org. The website, which showcases a number of video interviews of Walmart employees, community activists, environmentalists and others sharing their experiences with and concerns about Walmart, comes on the heels of Walmart launching a new multimillion-dollar ad-campaign and website of the same name titled “The Real Walmart”.
“Usually I work 36 hours a week but they cut hours…sometimes I even get only 26 hours and I am supposed to be fulltime,” said Chicago native and OUR Walmart member Rose Campbell, who is featured on the site. “I’ve even had 19 hours. I’ve got bills and none of that changes…you have to make do.”
ReallyWalmart.org includes testimony from Walmart employees, community activist and even Actor/Activist Danny Glover. The site also includes footage from elected officials, including President Obama’s keynote address to the Unite Food and Commercial Workers Union in 2008. Also featured is exclusive footage from labor activist and former Bangladesh garment worker Kalpona Aktar.
“We might not have millions of dollars to pay for TV ads, but we have the stories to share that Walmart doesn’t want the public to hear,” said OUR Walmart member Charlene Fletcher. “The truth is that Walmart is a company that puts profits over people and employs tactics and strategies that keep employees like me in jobs that don’t let us provide for our families. Even while Walmart’s profits are going up, my coworkers and I have to rely on food stamps just to cover groceries.”
Citing nearly $16 billion in annual profits and a CEO earning 1000 times the average employee, Walmart employees and communities across the globe are calling for a change of course at the company. Making Change at Walmart is calling on the company to raise wages, an end to retaliation against employees who speak out as well as increased access to full time hours so that employees make a minimum of $25,000 per year.
Additionally, the group is also calling on Walmart sign a binding agreement on fire and building safety to help prevent tragedies like last month’s Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh which caused the death of more than 1,000 garment workers.
Over the course of the last year, Walmart has seen its reputation and business practices questioned amidst bribery allegations, tragedies in its supply chain and turmoil amongst its workforce including strikes launched last year for the first time in the company’s 51 year history. Since 2011 Walmart has seen a decline in its reputational index rating, while its competitors have seen an increase during the same period and support for changing course at Walmart has been growing. Last fall, more than 30,000 supporters joined striking workers on picket lines around Black Friday and since then a number of actions have taken place at Walmart stores across the country including last month when hundreds of OUR Walmart members and their supporters called on the company to correct scheduling problems within stores.
The new website highlights stories from various Walmart employees including those who have called on the company to change course and leadership. Additionally, it features stories of Walmart employees who receive public assistance and those work along the supply chain.
UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Wal-Mart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Wal-Mart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Wal-Mart publically commit to adhering to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.