PHOENIX WALMART WORKERS TO STRIKE ON BLACK FRIDAY TO PROTEST RETALIATION, LOW PAY

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Contact: Joe Murphy, UFCW 602-291-2419 or Robbie Sherwood, ProgressNow Arizona 480-246-7944

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Workers, Faith Leaders, Immigrant Rights Activists, Elected Officials and Students Join Largest Black Friday Mobilization Ever, Intensify Calls for Walmart Owners to Commit to Paying $15 and Providing Full-Time Work

 PHOENIX — Up to 100 Walmart workers and community members in Phoenix will join the biggest strikes in company history on Black Friday, the most important retail day of the year. In the largest mobilization to date, these workers will march to lift up their fellow workers, and the community, by calling on Walmart to end efforts to silence workers and pay a living wage.

 Nationwide, workers and supporters are planning 1,600 strikes and protests at Walmart stores.  Supporters – including shoppers, concerned taxpayers and community leaders – are calling on Walmart and its owners, the Waltons, to stop hurting families and commit to raise pay to a minimum of $15 an hour and provide consistent, full-time work. Even as the mega-retailer brings in $16 billion in annual profits and Walmart’s owners build on their $150 billion fortune, the majority of Walmart workers are paid less than $25,000 a year.

“As a new member of OUR Walmart, the most important thing we need to end is the fear Associates have to speak up, as a result of management’s intimidation,” said Phoenix Walmat associate Sandra O’Donnell. “My coworkers and I should not have to be on public assistance in order to survive.”

Phoenix Walmart associate Sandy Sok added,  “After standing up to get more hours, I now have a full time schedule. However, my coworkers are struggling and we are facing intimidation from Walmart. It is time we stand up together, and take action on Black Friday!”

WHAT:                 Walmart Black Friday Protest Against Illegal Retaliation, Low Pay

 WHO:                    Phoenix Walmart workers, faith leaders, immigrant rights activists, community leaders, labor groups, elected officials, students and customers.

 WHERE:               Walmart, 3721 E Thomas Road, Phoenix.

 WHEN:                 11:30 a.m. Friday, November 28

Since Black Friday 2012, OUR Walmart members have forced the company to commit to improving pay for minimum wage workers, institute a new scheduling policy and upgrade protections for pregnant workers.

Meanwhile, calls on the Waltons to improve jobs have inspired others to address the income inequality problems driven by the country’s largest employer. Tens of thousands of supporters who call for better jobs on Black Friday, the New York Times editorial board,Fortune, Ashton Kutcher, top analysts, elected officials and public figures have all cited the issues raised by OUR Walmart as emblematic of the income inequality problem in America—and central to addressing it.

For information on Black Friday protests, photos and live-streams of events, vist www.BlackFridayProtests.org and follow the conversation at @ChangeWalmart, #WalmartStrikers

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UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Walmart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Walmart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Walmart publicly commit to adhere 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 its employees.