Empowering Discussions

The Behemouth That Bent Under Pressure of the People: Activists Make Wal-Mart Pay, Literally.

So you think as an individual you can’t create lasting changes? Then it’s time to join a cause and get involved.

Recently the mega consumer chain Wal-Mart announced they would be raising wages(slightly) for their workers along with giving more hours and training programs. This comes after years of workers banding together and saying enough is enough. They demanded a better work environment by actively speaking up, holding rallies, protesting and pressuring politicians. As more and more media outlets picked up the story public disdain of this billion dollar business grew until Wal-Mart had a reputation of supporting poverty wages and mistreating employees for the sake of profit.

While these wage increases and better treatment are a step in the right direction it’s certainly not enough for those who rely on their job at Wal-Mart to support themselves and their families.

“Rodriguez, the California Wal-Mart employee who has participated in protests at Wal-Mart, says he’s happy to get a bump up from $9.40 to $10 an hour next year. He’s also encouraged about the new training. But the 26-year old says the money isn’t enough to support his fiancée and 2-year old son. Emily Wells, a leader of OUR Walmart, a union-backed group of Wal-Mart workers that has been pressing the discounter to start its hourly wages at $15 and increase hours, agrees. She said she’s pleased that the company is addressing issues about pay and erratic scheduling, but Wells, who makes $9.50 an hour and is scheduled to work only 26 hours per week, said the plan comes up short. “Wal-Mart can afford to provide the good jobs that Americans need – and that means $15 an hour, full-time, consistent hours and respect for our hard work,” she said.”

Read more at Nytimes.com/aponline/2015/02/19/us/ap-us-wal-mart-worker-pay-raises

Personally I can’t stand Wal-Mart and haven’t shopped there in years after I found out they refused to pay women equally to men. Business-humanrights.org/en/walmart-lawsuit-re-gender-discrimination-in-usa#c9333

Other reasons to dislike Wal-Mart is the fact that as a mega chain store they put smaller stores out of business and perpetuate pollution by mass producing large quantities of stuff that we don’t really need, seemingly mostly plastic, that eventually ends in landfills or littering streets and waterways.

If you want change you have to get involved. So what are you waiting for?


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