On Wednesday, Walmart workers called out or walked off the job at seven stores in Dallas, according to OUR Walmart activists, the group that has been organizing strikes and protests against the company. The company says that these were not independent actions but the result of activists being bussed between different store locations.
The strikers joined a group of workers and supporters at a store in Lancaster to call on the company to pay all workers at least $25,000 a year, provide more full-time positions, and end retaliation against those who strike or try to unionize.
The strike in Dallas comes after workers walked out in Chicago, Seattle, and Los Angeles over the past few weeks and dozens walked out of a Miami store in October. They also come ahead of a promise from workers to strike on Black Friday as they did last year, when 400 workers went on strike.
A company spokesperson said that few associates participate in these actions because “they understand the truth about working for Walmart, that it provides more opportunities for career advancement and economic security than any other company in the country.” He also pointed out that despite the same tactics from activists on Black Friday last year, “we had our best Black Friday events ever.”
The company recently divulged information showing that the majority of its in-store workers make less than $25,000 a year, yet a report from the think tank Demos showed that it can afford to pay all of its workers at least that much without raising prices. Workers make so little that they consume about $1 million in public benefits at a single location just to scrape by and one store even held a food drive for its own workers to help them during the holiday season. The company has also been found to mostly be interested in hiring part-time or temporary workers, something that has been hurting its sales due to the inability to keep shelves stocked, although it recently recognized this problem and decided to add more full-time positions ahead of the holidays.
It has also been accused a variety of times of illegally firing or disciplining workers who went on strike, something that was recently substantiated when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that it would prosecute the company for violating workers’ rights. The NLRB found merit in allegations that Walmart stores in 13 states unlawfully fired, disciplined, or threatened workers who went on strike, among other things.