Group Protested at Walmart Headquarters

About 50 protesters were at Walmart’s Home Office in Bentonville. They demanding higher wages from the company ahead of the annual Walmart Shareholders Meeting Friday (June 6).

The protesters represent a group called Our Walmart. They are asking the company to pay them at least $25,000 per year, which works out to $12.25 an hour. Currently, the average hourly wage for a sales woman working at Walmart is $10.58.

Moronica Owens, an associate from Minnesota, carried her 3-year old son Parish Moore in the demonstration. She said she’s afraid she will get fired for protesting.

“If it’s not one thing, it’s another and it’s hard,” Owens said. “It’s hard to sit back, watch, be afraid to speak out, and be scared of what they might do to you.”

“It’s hard to be treated like slaves and have to accept it because you don’t want to lose your job,” she said.

At the same time the protest was going on, a group of charter buses brought associates to the home office for Shareholders Week.

Lauri Wyman, claims supervisor in Iowa, said she has a positive experience and said there’s an open door policy at her store.

“I don’t see the retaliation,” Wyman said. “We really are a family.”

“I’m wearing my Super Riley shirt,” she said. “My store manager’s 4-year old has cancer… we are a team.”

Some members of Our Walmart plan to be at the Shareholders meeting Friday (June 6).

25 comments

  • Marie Smith

    These are nothing more than Union Backed Groups. The union is trying to get a foothold in Walmart. You’ve seen the damage Unions have done in Government and in private business.

    • ViKi Payne

      AMEN Marie!!!!!!!!!!!! Most people these days want a mgmt level salary for a NO SKILL working background!!!! WM is NOT perfect by any means, but I challenge anyone to show me a company that is. What the hell happened to WORK ETHICS & HARD WORK?????? You get out of something what you put into it. There are people out there that would be grateful just to have a job. UGH!!!!!!!

    • BuddyBurton

      I agree with ya Marie. Unions only care about money for themselves and not the company in general.

      I have been with the company for 10 yrs and you have to work hard to earn a decent salary. I have earned it by sticking with it and not complaining too much.

  • Well...

    I work for Wal-mart and wish I could simply earn $8 I, make $7.65 and by no means is this a “management level salary”. I am however, very happy that I found a job to accommodate my school schedule. I don’t plan to pursue a career with Wal-mart , nonetheless I feel the wages are not enough for anyone much less for a family with hungry mouths to feed.

  • Faith

    I have numerous family members that work throughout the entire spectrum of positions for Wal-Mart. These people do deserve a raise. Most of the shifts for the entry level positions are set in opposition of getting a second job and they avoid overtime like the plague. You can not live on 8 to 9 dollars an hour. You can’t afford the insurance at those either. They cut the employees throats with low wages and their customers throat with low quality over priced merchandise.

    • bobreal

      Look at the FAST FOOD places most of them pays just over $7 and hour.. Then You take Golden Corral they make LESS than $4 and hour plus Tips… Then they have to Report Their tips so they can be TAXED on it.

  • FedUp

    If you work for Walmart and you are unhappy with your position for whatever reasons, there is a simple solution. Go work some place else.

  • Erin Fowler (@efowler87)

    I support what these women and men are doing. These brave people are exercising their rights as citizens including the right to free speech and the right to bargain collectively.

    Wal-Mart is one of the richest companies in the world, and one of the largest employers in the United States. They have can afford to invest in their employees. It’s not going to bankrupt them to pay their employees a living wage.

    Besides research shows that it is costing all of us taxpayers millions of dollars to subsidize Wal-Mart, which encourages its employees to apply for welfare, food-stamps, etc. On average a Wal-Mart store costs a city around $1,000,000 a year in subsidies because they are not paying a living wage.
    Don’t believe me? Here is an article on this from Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/04/15/report-walmart-workers-cost-taxpayers-6-2-billion-in-public-assistance/

    As for those who are telling people to go work some where else, where shall they go? Wal-Mart moves in, and puts a lot of other businesses out of business. For many cities Wal-Mart is the main employer.

  • Trish B..

    I support these women completely. Everyone deserves a wage they can live on.
    You may say despicable things about unions but look at teachers, plumbers, electricians, police officers, iron workers, steel workers, etc. If they were not part of a union they would be making eight bucks an hour. Even JTL back in the day was unionized. Truck drivers make a good wage and can easily support their families. Why, because they belong to unions. Call up a trade school and ask where they place their trainees, in a unionized position, that’s where.
    Give these ladies a raise and allow unions to protect the workers.

    • Rhett Bu

      These people deserve nothing, it is not walmarts responsibility to provide a living wage, min wage was never meant to be a living wage and if you are 30 and on min wage it is your fault and you are a loser and you have reaped what you have sowed, instead of having kids and getting married when you are 19 maybe you should be going to school or getting a skill. If you have nothing to offer, then you do not deserve anything. The constitution does not assure you of a living wage, it only assures you of an opportunity and what you do with that is up to you. I feel nothing for any of these people, it is their fault, they are losers, if you do not like what walmart pays, find another job, or start your own business. I will take my college degree, my six digit job, waste more money on cigars and bourbon than you make in a week and laugh all the way to the bank and laugh at you at your clerk job at Walmart, you dont like, tough!!

  • Trish B.

    The Walmart CEO gets paid 1,034 times more than the median Walmart worker, according to a new analysis by PayScale, a salary information website.

    Duke, who raked in $23.15 million last year, contended in December that the retail giant pays “competitive wages.” Half of Walmart workers made less than $22,400 in 2012, according to PayScale, which is below poverty level for a family of four.

    • Rhett Bu

      You are an idiot, so what, min wage was not meant to be a living wage, they do not like it, find another job, if they have no skill, it is their fault, while they were making babies by different men when they were 19, I was studying in college and serving in the air force, I do not give one rats A$$ about people who do not make themselves better.

  • matt

    The only thing I buy from walmart is food. I walk around the store and hardly ever see an employee, when I do they are looking/acting busy to impress management. The average store worker is required to stock shelves and ring up customers. This should be a job one has to get by while bettering themselves, not a career. This is a job for teenagers and early 20 somethings at best. When I go there all I see are people who cant work anywhere else.

  • Ron Snider

    It doesn’t really matter what wal mart workers make, as the majority of them are already living in subsidized housing, on food stamps, and their children are on 100% paid medicaid, not to mention the free $8,000-$12,000 of income tax credits that these families get yearly from the tax payers.
    The Walton’s are getting crazy rich as the US taxpayers subsidies their work force. Take away the medicaid, low income housing, income tax credits, food stamps, WIC, etc and then Wal Mart’s workers would take labor seriously, because then they wouldn’t be able to even pay rent.

    • Sarah 1

      Ron Snider, if the workers were paid a living wage then the taxpayers would not be subsidizing so much of their living expenses. WalMart needs to increase salaries. Instead of building new stores they need to invest in the actual workers.
      For instance, I have a friend who did well in U of A, his beginning salary was 65K at WM. In four years he is making 122K. While I am pleased for him, he works 70 hours a week and is on call constantly. Wouldn’t it be nicer to pay the cashiers and stockers a decent wage as well?

  • MannersPeoplePlease

    I dealt with several of these people 1st hand. I could care less about walmart but I know 1st hand a large number of this group were rude and unpleasant. There were the few that tried to be nice and looked like they were embarrassed by the way the others were acting but some of them were just awful. The language and attitudes and way they spoke to each other was pitiful. And for someone that was so upset, several of them seemed to be laughing and having a great time when not on camera!!! Im all for rights and fair pay. And Im all for freedom of speech. I dont know if these people were paid or not. But I do know what I saw and heard was offensive to me and many others! Maybe the pay has something to do with the way they behave?

    • Erin Fowler (@efowler87)

      I’m sorry that you considered some of these people to be rude, but it’s called free speech for this very reason. The constitution of the United States guarantees it. Even if it is rude. Since these individuals were protesting and they are angry at Wal-Mart, I would sure expect them to not be “nice” mood.

      Also since when have “nice” people ever affected change? Take at look at history? Most great societal changes were caused by large groups of angry (or as you say “unpleasant”) marching and protesting! It’s called civil disobedience for a reason.

      Also I find it interesting that you never gave an example of these individuals behavior or how you were interacting with them. Is it possible they were rude because you gave them cause to be? Only stating that you found their behavior “rude” and “offensive”. Doesn’t make it so. Well I maybe find you “rude” and “offensive”? Sounds to me that you are more interested in destroying these individual’s character then bringing anything constructive to the table.

      #ThatsJustMy2Cents

      • MannersPeoplePlease

        I didnt give examples about interaction because there was none other than myself, my family, and everyone else around having to hear the language they were using. Now mind you not all, but several could not say a sentence without saying the F word and Motherf…er. I guess I feel if it were me I would rather my “cause” be recognized and not my language. And I guess I feel that whether they are paid to make a point or not, how does behaving like this in public further the cause? Not 1 of these people spoke to me nor I to them, but unfortunately its like something in the air you breath, you have to breath it, as we had to hear it. And I was a bit confused as to how someone can be laughing and playing one minute and crying the next,maybe they were camera shy? But, you are right, there is something called Freedom of speech. Thank you to everyone that has fought for that right. I wonder if those, the ones that have fought would think the F word was what the were fighting for. And maybe, just maybe, acting like this at work has caused wage issues or lack of promotion issues or maybe even results in people not taking you serious. If I were trying to make a point that was so important to me, the point would be made every day, all day, not just when I can get my face on tv. So you can try to sound all official and try to make a point, but the fact is, to all the people that were around them, some in their own group, the way they were acting was a joke. Only a hypocrite will talk about whats right and then act so wrong. How would you like to be sitting there with your family and hear “oh fu.. ya” or “youre motherf…ing right” or “bit..” It shows a lack of vocabulary and not much more. How could anyone take you serious after hearing that, and thats just a small sample. So, now that I have exercised my right to free speech, I will get some coffee and get ready for the day, working, and being out in public using “Nice” yes “Nice” language. So now you will say, who am I to say whats wrong,,,,right? :D Peace and a wonderful day to you! And to the organizers of the demonstration, you may be taken more serious if your people conduct themselves in a way that would cause people to take them serious.

  • matt

    The unions broke Detroit, Wisconsin, and most of California. I worked for a union one time when I was forced to because that was the only way to get a job with that company. I had to pay fees to a useless manager who was a kid from one of the higher ups to be in the union. The union rep would roll into town every quarter and tel us how hard he was fighting for us then go get drunk with the union guys at the closest bar. Nothing ever got better. I guess at the time I was blinded by the fact that I could never get fired for any reason, and still make about 22.00 an hour. When I left I made a promise that I would never work for a union\collective ever again. Made more money, didn’t have to pay anybody, and was more happy. Screw the seiu or whoever staged this.

  • Erin Fowler (@efowler87)

    Trish I agree completely!
    I worked at AT&T for almost 4 years. AT&T supported the union (CWA Communications Workers of America). No other telecom in the US is unionized.
    It was collective bargaining through the CWA Union that kept the pay and benefits high for all employees, not just the unionized ones. While working part-time as a sales associate at AT&T I made well over minimum wage + commission + 401k + health insurance. All of that was thanks to unionization. It didn’t hurt AT&T’s ability to turn a profit either.

    Now that I’ve left AT&T to focus my attention on college full-time, I’m shocked at how little other companies pay and offer next to zero benefits.

    It was the Unions that helped build the middle-class throughout the 20th century.

    A little research will show that higher pay rates have been correlated to higher unionization rates.

    In fact Unions are the main reason why as a nation we celebrate Labor Day: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_day

    Sadly the number of Unions and union members has been declining steadily since the 1980′s, and so have pay and benefits.

    Hopefully this will change, for these brave Wal-Mart employees and for the US in general.

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