More than 2,250 Walmart stores on strike on Black Friday
November 28, 2014

OurWalmart explains the reason for the strike:

Income inequality is the highest it’s been since 1928. Corporate profits are at an all-time high. Meanwhile, wages are at the lowest point since 1948 – even as productivity increases.

No one family is driving this trend quite like Walmart’s owners, the Waltons. The Walton family is the richest family in America with nearly $150 billion in wealth and as much money as 43% of American families combined. And yet, most Walmart workers make less than just $25,000 a year. That’s why community members are joining their calls for increased wages and access to hours. Stand with us and join us on Black Friday if the Waltons fail to respond.

While Rob, Alice and the rest of the Waltons are by far the richest family in America, many of the Walmart workers who helped to build that fortune are struggling just to get by. Workers at Walmart are looking for fair shot, but the silver-spooned Walton family is robbing them of a decent living.

To find a protest near you visit: http://www.blackfridayprotests.org/


Workers at a Los Angeles Walmart began the first sit-down strike in the company’s history at around 2 p.m. on Thursday. The strike is to protest their low wages and a culture of retaliation at the company. The protestors have been chanting “Stand Up, Live Better! Sit Down, Live Better!” and covering their mouths with tape to symbolize efforts to silence protestors, according to a press release from OurWalmart. Community members are also planning to join the protest later in the evening.

Walmart workers stage first-ever sit-in strike | Follow ThinkProgress

Let’s talk about just how “unskilled” my minimum wage labor is.

At IHOP, I had to memorize a vast menu of possible breakfast combinations. Did you know the system contains more than thirty different choices for how an egg should be prepared? Then choices of pancakes or French toast, what kind of toppings, was this a custom order or was it one of our seasonal specials? Oh, yeah, the seasonal specials. Every three months, we had a four hour staff meeting to discuss the new food items that would be added to the menu. Most of us came in and spent this four hour meeting in addition to the nearly twelve hour shift we would work later that night or had already been working early that morning.

Better memorize the seasonal specials, too, or else you’ll be screwing up people’s food left and right. And screwed up food means screwed up tips, especially when it comes to breakfast. On that note, guess how similar all the dishes looked. When you work primarily in a breakfast diner with infinite combinations of specials, pre-designed plates, and custom orders, it is very easy to mistake your table’s food for someone else’s when it comes out. You definitely don’t want to make that mistake, though, since IHOP has a system where you might run another server’s food out to their table. You have to be able to see what a dish is by sight and be able to distribute it to a table whose order you did not take. Some of my coworkers who had been doing this for years could take an order completely by memorizing it at the table. When you are often expected to serve up to eight people at one table, often several tables at a time, this is a truly incredible feat.

Oh, and dishes come out hot. At my IHOP, the dress code dictated a short sleeved collared white shirt. The lack of sleeves meant that I had to balance a number of very hot dishes on my bare arms, then walk to the table and distribute them without dropping anything. If you’ve never had to successfully balance ten hot plates on your arms at a time, I suggest you pop some in the microwave right now and give walking across your living room a shot. (Might not want to try unless you have carpet or money to spare for new plates, though.)

During football season, IHOP was the only restaurant open late in my town with enough space for large parties. On these Friday and Saturday nights I worked until 5 or 6 in the morning, having started my shift at 4 or 5 that afternoon. I took orders for parties of ten, fifteen, and twenty, often at the same time, with smaller tables as well. I was expected to split checks and understand how to divide incredibly complex orders, and then take payment without losing credit cards, mixing up checks, or any other disastrous thing that can happen when you are holding fifteen forms of payment in your hands at once.

Even when the actual serving had ended, there were a number of meticulous shopkeeping duties that had to be done at the end of each shift. Sometimes that meant I’d be filling 200 tiny cups with salad dressing at four in the morning, and others it meant I’d be taking meticulous inventory in my short sleeves in the freezer, restocking from storage where necessary. Everyone had to roll silverware every night, and when you’ve been on your feet for eleven hours, you can imagine how it feels to have to roll two hundred forks and two hundred knives into two hundred napkin and put the sticky tab on each one, after you wash off all the water spots and polish the utensils.

Did I mention there’s a lot of lifting in a minimum wage service job? I’m sure that’s true in other areas as well, but even now that I’m working as a soda jerk and not a server, there’s tons of lifting heavy objects. I have to lift large boxes of supplies from the stock room in order to make sure everything is, well, stocked. I lift gallons of frozen ice cream. I carry bus trays full of solid glass dishes and half-finished drinks to the kitchen (you think this job is unskilled? You try scraping all those plates without actually touching someone’s half-eaten pancakes. It’s impossible).

Not to mention handling to-go orders without tips, people who come in with coupons that slash their order to nothing and then tip according to the adjusted total despite you delivering the same level of service, the fact that the prices were already low because it’s IHOP so tips were meager. I could complain to you for days about experiences with bad and ignorant customers that took all my control, all my people management skills, all my thickness of skin to get through, and I didn’t get paid any extra for putting up with that shit.

Remember, I only get paid the equivalent of a meal at McDonald’s for every hour of my work. I deserve better. We all do.

Só peço que eu não perca a fé no amor, pro novo sol de paz se abrir e no que a escuridão tentar te dominar, sempre uma luz irá surgir. Que prevaleça a fé até na dor pro novo sol de paz se abrir e no que a escuridão tentar, eu hei de resistir, vou adiante. Pouco tempo é o bastante pra eternizar momentos que nem são pra sempre. A vida é curta, vou aproveitar, somos tão jovens mas nem sempre inconseqüentes e ninguém sabe quando um simples tchau pode ser o adeus e nunca é tarde, já que o futuro só pertence a Deus.
—  Strike. 
Polish women to stage all-out strike to protest abortion ban
Women in Poland are to stage an all-out strike to protest the country’s plan to effectively ban abortions. Female workers across the predominantly Catholic country will take part in the action on Monday, in an effort to disruptively draw attention to attempts to restrict Poland’s severely limited abortion laws even further. Those taking part hope the strike will bring Polish society and the economy to a standstill.

I stand with you, my sisters, in solidarity! 

Humanity's biggest ever strike is underway
Millions of public sector workers have gone on strike in India to protest against the government’s economic policies. Public transport was disrupted and state-run banks, power stations and factories were closed as 10 trade unions called nationwide walkouts. Reports suggested more than 150 million workers were taking part in the industrial action but the figure had not been confirmed.

“This strike is against the central government, this strike is for the cause of the working people,” Ramen Pandey, president of West Bengal Indian National Trade Union Congress, told Al Jazeera.

“Our strike will be 100 per cent successful … we will prove that this strike is the world’s largest ever.”

The strike was called after union leaders rejected the government’s offer to increase the minimum wage for unskilled workers from 6,396 rupees (£72) a month to 9,100 rupees (£102).  

There are also concerns that raising caps on foreign investment could lead to privatisation and eventually to the loss of jobs.

From Al Jazeera (link in the above quote):

Union officials said about 180 million workers, including state bank employees, school teachers, postal workers, miners and construction workers, were participating, but the figure could not be independently verified.

The strike was called after talks with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley broke down, with union leaders rejecting his offer to raise the minimum wage for unskilled workers from 6,396 rupees ($96) a month to 9,100 rupees ($136).

Workers are demanding the government dump plans to close unproductive factories, raise foreign investment caps in some industries and sell off stakes in state-run companies - over fears that creeping privatisation will jeopardise jobs.

The unions said the government should guarantee both social security and healthcare for all, and should be hiking the minimum wage to double what it is offering in order to keep up with inflation.