skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Protesters Call For Walmart To Pay A Living Wage

A San Diego Wal-Mart store.

On any given Black Friday outside a Walmart store, there are some pretty common sights. Throngs of shoppers hungry for deals, Salvation Army volunteers ringing their signature bells. And protesters.

That’s right, protesters.

If union-backed groups that focus on the rights of Walmart employees had their way, labor activists were at almost 1,500 stores across the country this Black Friday. The protests are part of an attempt to draw attention to low wages, which the big box store pays its approximately 1.4 million employees.

Paul Sasso organized the San Diego event. He said it’s about creating a living wage for workers. “I mean a living wage and fair treatment is critical to the health of any society.”

To that end, Sasso said they will be asking shoppers to get involved by boycotting Walmart this holiday season.

“Our goal is to collect 500 signatures for a letter to the chairman of Walmart,” Sasso said.

Sasso said they are asking for all employees to be able to earn “a minimum wage of $25,000 a year and no retaliation against workers who ask for that.” He said they are trying to gather signatures, but really the protest is about raising awareness on the busiest shopping day of the year.

There has been a lot of controversy over the company's wages. An Ohio store held a food drive to help feed it’s own employees.

Wal-Mart made $17 billion last year. But the company don’t seem to be giving in to the protestor’s demands. It has said the company is focused on having the best holiday season for both customers and employees.

About 15 or so protestors braved the on-and-off drizzle at the San Diego Walmart on Murphy Canyon Road.

Comments

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | November 30, 2013 at 4:14 p.m. ― 12 months ago

"About 15 or so protestors braved the on-and-off drizzle..."

===

Clearly NOBODY CARES.

Shoppers don't care that their purchases are feeding a corporate beast that is actually making their lives worse in the long run for their short term cheap consumerist gain.

Employees don't care because they have a job and end up spending the few dollars they make in Walmart which enables the vicious cycle to continue.

Nobody cares that Walmart is slowly destroying American manufacturing, small businesses, and the entire middle class.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Eddie89'

Eddie89 | December 2, 2013 at 8:35 a.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Truth, CaliforniaDefender! Sad, but true! :-(

Rather, too little care about these truths.

While the Walton family is laughing all the way to the bank!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | December 2, 2013 at 9:15 a.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

I do not believe the government should intervene and force private companies to pay more than they need to. This is a free market. If the employees do not get paid enough, they should find another job. If they can't find another job, perhaps they should upgrade their skillset, or consider that their labor is not worth as much as they thought it was.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 2, 2013 at 9:19 a.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Light manufacturing has been on the decline at least since sometime in the 80s.

WAL MART is the perfect joke for the gullible. Sadly, most do not care. Not your average American Black Friday consumer, not the Democratic Party, and not the shoppers who cross the border either. Yes, the Walton family and a few Chinese and Bangladeshi government bureaucrats are laughing all the way to the bank!

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | December 2, 2013 at 12:07 p.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

JM,

Yes, that is exactly how it should be if all was fair and honest. But it isn't that way.

All those manufacturing and mom and pop retail jobs that Walmart has destroyed are the exact jobs that Walmart workers would prefer to be in.

Walmart seeks to reduce competition until they are the only choice left and in control the entire chain from manufacturing to retail. In a way, Walmart is not capitalist at all, it is very communist.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | December 2, 2013 at 12:35 p.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

CaliforniaDefender they don't have to work there. I don't want to work at walmart so I don't.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | December 2, 2013 at 1:54 p.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

JM,

True and I have that option too. But I'm guessing you're highly educated like myself and possess many marketable skills which gives us choice.

Many people don't have that luxury or ability and finding unskilled labor/basic admin jobs is actually quite hard.

Every time I need to hire someone at that level, there are hundreds of applications. I know I could reduce pay and benefits and still get the same people applying. But I don't because I have a conscience. Besides, fairness promotes loyalty and productivity.

We also have way too many unskilled immigrants (legal or not) which puts downward pressure on wages. But that is another discussion.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | December 2, 2013 at 2:21 p.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

It is difficult to blame Walmart for there being too many low skilled workers.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | December 2, 2013 at 4:38 p.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Nobody is. But they have contributed to a large reduction in competition.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | December 3, 2013 at 7:09 a.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Only for low end consumer goods, and even then, so what? It is not like they have anything close to a monopoly. Also, as pointed out above, there are plenty of people so opposed to their efficiency that they will refuse to do business with Walmart. Empirically, there are many other successful businesses, though few AS successful.

The landscape in which we all must compete for survival is changing at an ever faster pace. We have to keep up, but it is better to get ahead.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | December 3, 2013 at 7:32 a.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

CD is absolutely right about WalMart's decimation of the market, but an important point is missed if you don't discuss the unemployment rate: When it's above 7%, structurally unemployed people take jobs at places like Walmart. That means not everyone who works there lacks marketable skills. To be fair, I think WalMart employees wish their company's culture was more like Costco's. The basic job duties at both are the same, but one is a lot more desirable than the other.

"The landscape in which we all must compete for survival is changing at an ever faster pace. We have to keep up, but it is better to get ahead."

American life is a rat race. Plain and simple.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | December 3, 2013 at 8:05 a.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

DeLaRick correction, LIFE is a rat race. People can't just wallow around expecting to earn a living wage while putting no effort into their lives, their education, or their future.

Yes, I have marketable skills. I was not born with them. These people who have no marketable skills need to gain some, just like I did, just like everyone else did who doesn't work at walmart.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | December 3, 2013 at 8:50 a.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

JM,

Easy! Isn't it even remotely possible that the employees at Walmart have a point? Just because you're comfortable in life doesn't mean WalMart employees have to suffer.

I'm healthy, happy and decently compensated for my work. That doesn't mean that everyone has to copy me or do things exactly the way I do them. I believe in helping the less fortunate. Your "winner take all" attitude and "end justifies the means" mentality lead to decadence and immorality. Pope Francis is bringing millions of lapsed Catholics back to the Church with his Jesuit-inspired messages. Is he full of it?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | December 3, 2013 at 10:22 a.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

DLR, no one is claiming that 'everyone has to copy (you) or do things exactly the way (you) do them". In fact, if they tried that whatever it is you do would become less valuable through increased availability. The point is that we have an excess population and until we have a higher demand for unskilled labor those who lack skills and determination are likely to live miserable lives. The lesson to take from this is to not be either unskilled or lackadaisical.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | December 3, 2013 at 10:27 a.m. ― 11 months, 4 weeks ago

DeLaRick - they may have a point, their point is that they want to get paid more for utterly unskilled labor that literally any able-bodied person on earth can do.

If they do not want to "suffer" as you put it, they should find a way to make their labor more valuable. Take a class, learn a trade, etc.

Why in the world do people who put items on shelves think they should get paid more?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | December 3, 2013 at 11:53 a.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

JM and Benz,

I can't disagree with the main thrust of your points. People should strive to be better in every aspect of their lives. The same applies to corporations like WalMart. They should strive to be as good to their employees as Costco is to theirs. Don't forget that simply having a job is an accomplishment for some people. My disdain is reserved for thieves.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | December 3, 2013 at 12:06 p.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

DeLaRick while I do agree that corporations should hold themselves to high moral standards, we cannot forget that their sole reason for existing is to make as much money as possible... there is no room in a business, especially a publicly held company, for morals or generosity when they deteriorate the bottom line even by a minuscule amount. The world we live in is driven by money and profits. Fight it we may, but this will never, ever change. So I think our only option is to find out how to succeed in this world, and that usually means finding a way to make our labor more valuable.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 3, 2013 at 2:06 p.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

CA OFFENDER, forget your "downward pressure" by immigrants (legal or not, are you implying ALL white Americans are highly skilled ???) it is management, more than anythig else which keeps wages down. Gotta watch that overhead, you know. Besides, if you "downward pressure by immigrants" were true, the US Chamber of Commerce wouldn't be so sympathetic toward them.

DLR, interesting observation about Pope Francis though a bit off topic. But does one quit one's religion simply because of poor or weak leadership or doctrinal differences which are two very different things??? I did NOT agree with Cold Warrior John Paul II philosphically, but was he correct when he said that West has a "culture of Death"??? Absolutely.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | December 3, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Mission,

Pope Francis just issued his Evangili Gaudium where he warned against "unfettered capitalism." WalMart is nothing if not caplitalistic. Like I said, I hope WalMart is not cutting corners when it comes to caring for its employees.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | December 3, 2013 at 2:57 p.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The sad thing is, I am sure walmart is cutting corners when it comes to caring for their employees. I don't want to sound completely ignorant to the plight if job seekers, sometimes walmart is their only option. Sadly, I do not think walmart will change their behavior as long as employees continue to endure it.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | December 3, 2013 at 3:37 p.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Missionfailed,

You're hilariously confused. The US Chamber of Commerce supports corporations and profit maximization. Of course they love poor, uneducated illegal aliens as they're 21st Century slaves who work for next to nothing.

Farm workers average $10,000 a year. If there were zero illegal aliens in America, do you think it would still be $10,000? Of course not. Such a labor shortage would drive up wages until Americans would be willing to take the jobs.

Also, what do "white Americans" have to do with this other than your tick of injecting race into every discussion?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'kellymar'

kellymar | December 3, 2013 at 7:41 p.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

JeanMarc, I would agree with you except that by paying low wages, Walmart is the beneficiary of corporate welfare. Their employees qualify for food stamps, subsidized housing and free or reduced healthcare. Therefore, I think it is perfectly reasonable that the government require them (and any other company that thinks they can exploit government loopholes to pay low wages) to pay a living wage. Ironically, the Walmart workforce is living proof against Republican rhetoric that poor people don't want to work. They do - and for a pittance.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | December 4, 2013 at 5:55 a.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Anyone who thinks Wal-Mart is "free market" is crazy.

They bully local governments into bypassing all regulations to opening where they want when they want without regards to any environmental or other analysis, they spend billions giving to politicians and have paid lobbyists in Washigton, they spend huge amounts on their own propaganda.

The Wal-mart apologists think workers have no right to ask for government help in unfair labor practices but they think Wal-mart has every right to be in the pockets of government officials themselves and for the corporation to get all types of special concessions because they can buy and sell political hacks.

I also find it ironic that any who defend this cheap Red-Chinese junk peddling operation are those who in other threads like to spout out against Communism.

Wal-mart is corporate communism.

Keep selling Chinese made goods because they are cheaper despite unfair trade imbalances that end up hurting us as a whole, drive out American made businesses, under-pay American citizens which encourages welfare programs to subsidize their corporate greed, and use te enormous profits to lobby goverenment to pass laws in their favor to keep the cycle going and to keep their enormous growth inflated.

This is not about "consumer choice", it's about corporate bullying and a mega-corporation pulling every string it can to ensure we consumers have NO choices other than Wal mart.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | December 4, 2013 at 8:11 a.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

kellymar the problem is, raising minimum wage has never produced the desired result. It only hurt businesses and increased inflation. But lets keep trying anyway, right?

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 4, 2013 at 10:25 a.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

No, it's their view of the free market, Offender. You want to set a minimum wage? I thought you supply-siders were against that??? Oh, wait, but since we are dealing with supspecies ethnic groups, then you throw the laizzes faireism aside! I get it.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'LaMesa_dude'

LaMesa_dude | December 7, 2013 at 3:39 p.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Interesting comments... I showed up at a Chula Vista Walmart on Black Friday to hopefully raise some consciousness about Walmart's practices, (part of the Making Change at Walmart effort). Hardly any like-minded folks showed up -- and few shoppers seemed to care. It's going to be a long road if this event is any indication of community interest.

Interestingly I did the same thing a year prior at the Grossmont Center Wallyworld and there seemed to be much more interest -- pro and con. More than a few (from a predictable demographic) were visibly angered and had choice words to say to me as they walked by. References to communism and "if they don't like it, they can find another job" were the norm. Easier said than done, I'd say...

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 8, 2013 at 2:38 p.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

La Mesa Dude, profit motive has ruled the day since the end of WWII.
Consumerism, conspicuous consumption, and now, the resurgence of Randism.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | December 9, 2013 at 4:06 p.m. ― 11 months, 3 weeks ago

LaMesa_dude it is not going to be a long road, it is a dead end road. People do not care about anything except getting the best (perceived or not) deal they can on something. They will not pass up the opportunity to get merchandise at a discount for the benefit of walmart employees.

( | suggest removal )