Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sweatshop, Warehouse, Walmart: A Worker Truth Tour comes to NYC

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 08:  Wal-Mart customers ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Thursday, we're bringing together workers from multiple points in the Walmart supply chain to tell how the world's biggest retailer keeps workers in a cycle of low wages, no voice on the job, and dangerous working conditions. Speakers will include a Walmart associate, a warehouse worker, and a Bangladeshi garment worker.  Join us! RSVP and more info on Facebook!

Walmart wants to open stores in New York City. The company is spending a lot of money to change the debate from the real issue, which is how it treats its associates and creates poverty-level jobs throughout its supply chain. As the world’s largest retailer, how Walmart impacts workers across the globe is a good preview of what kind of jobs it is going to try to bring to NYC.

Three workers representing different links in the Wal...mart supply chain will be appearing in New York on Thursday, March 31th as part of Sweatshop, Warehouse, Walmart: A Worker Truth Tour.

Robert Hines worked until very recently in a Chicago-area warehouse that supplies Walmart.

Cynthia Murray works in a Walmart store in Laurel, Maryland.

Aleya Akter is a young woman from Bangladesh who has worked in garment factories since she was nine years old, sewing the clothes sold in U.S. Walmart stores.

Kalpona Akter is a former garment worker and director of the Bangladesh Worker Solidarity Center who was imprisoned after a Walmart subcontractor brought falsified complaints against her.

These three workers would like to share with the community what it is like to work for Walmart, whether directly on the company’s payroll like Cynthia or indirectly for a shipper or supplier like Robert and Aleya.

For more information, visit or call 212.631.0886

Tour sponsors include Making Change at Walmart (a campaign of the United Food and Commercial Workers), Jobs with Justice, International Labor Rights Forum, United Students Against Sweatshops, and SweatFree Communities.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Walmart Buys its way into Africa

South Africa (orthographic projection)Image via Wikipedia

"Despite the advent of democracy in 1994, South Africa remains one of the most inequitable societies in the world. The acquisition of 51% of Massmart by Walmart will cut out even more local ownership of one of the major retail players in the country." 
-Tyotyo James, deputy-president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions. After Walmart's 51% bid on the major retailer Massmart was approved this week. "Walmart buys its way into Africa"

It's not just a domestic problem with Walmart, across the world they're notoriously known for exploitation of workers and destruction of small business.  In South Africa they're getting a lot of resistance for buying out the retail chain Massmart and essentially monopolizing the South African retail market.
Now that the Massmart deal cleared all the regulatory hurdles, a massive boycott is being planned for all Walmart/Massmart affiliated stores. [Financial Mail]

Thursday, January 13, 2011 Promotes Report: NYC Store Would Lower Wages

Here's something you don't see everyday, Walmart telling the truth.

The ingenious website which claims to promote real New Yorker opinions, is promoting a report from ABC News which covered NYC Public Advocate's Bill de Blasio's report that if a Walmart were to open in NYC retail wages would suffer.  Here's a screen shot from WalmartNYC's newsroom:

We love how the logo above reads, "Helping NYC Save Money and Live Better", while they source studies that argue they'll lower retail wages.

Thanks, Walmart!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rally and New York City Council Hearing Postponed to Feb.3

UPDATE: Due to the snow concerns, the New York City Council has rescheduled the hearing from Jan. 12th to February 3, 2011, same place, same time.  RSVP and discuss the rally on Facebook here:!/event.php?eid=190233140990413

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rally to Keep Job-Killing Wal-Mart Out of NYC

Walmart Free NYC is a coalition of workers, small business owners, community leaders, clergy and elected officials who are committed to increasing economic opportunities, preserving local businesses, and creating more jobs in communities across New York’s five boroughs.
“The Impact of an Urban Wal-Mart Store on Area Businesses: An Evaluation of One Chicago Neighborhood’s Experience.” Davis, Julie, David Merriman, Lucia Samayoa, Brian Flanagan, Ron Baiman, and Joe Persky, December 2009. Center for Urban Research and Learning Loyola University Chicago.
Available online at
“The Effects of Walmart on Local Labor Markets.”  David Neumark, Junfu Zhang, and Stephen Ciccarella. October 2005. Public Policy Institute of California.

Available online at:

“The Effect of Walmart on Businesses in Host Towns and Surrounding Towns in Iowa.” Kenneth Stone. Iowa State University. November 1988.
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