Have you heard about the Walmart workers’ strike this Friday? I just signed a “statement of solidarity” in support of the workers, so I won’t be shopping there the day after Thanksgiving.
…Actually, there’s no chance I’d
be shopping at Walmart this Friday anyway.
First off, I’m working on Friday.
Secondly, Walmart stores are kind of scarce in Chicago and there isn’t
one anywhere near me. Third, the whole
concept of Black Friday—the greed, the mobs, the rampant consumerism—is just
And, fourth, I’m not too fond
of Walmart anyway. Even though it’s been
around practically forever now, I’m still mad at them for running out so many
mom and pop stores and decimating small-town main streets everywhere. Plus, it’s a depressing place. Whenever I happen to be in one, I can’t help
feeling I’m in some bizarro hospital or mental institution. Half
the people look sickly and, invariably, someone will be walking around in
pajamas. I always feel the urge to rush
out of there before I catch what they have.
I sound like such a snob, don’t
I? The truth is, I end up at Walmart for
the same reason everyone else. The
prices are relatively cheap (they have my favorite, and pricey, mouthwash for
the lowest price I’ve found), and oftentimes, they’re the only choice
around. I’m usually there when I’m
visiting my folks, and it’s the most convenient place to go get whatever I
happen to need. Damn.
Therefore, since Walmart isn’t
going away, the least they can do is be fair to their workers. (Those poor people have to be in that vast,
airless, box for hours on end.) Here's
the background on the strike, according to Ultraviolet:
“In October, 70 Walmart workers
walked off the job, the first strike of Walmart workers in the company's 50
year history. They walked after facing retaliation--threats, suspensions, and
firings--for complaints about rock-bottom wages and poor working conditions.
But despite having no union and no protections, these brave workers took
action. So on Black Friday, organizers
are taking the strike nationwide--to thousands of stores and the nearly one
million women who work for Walmart in the U.S. An estimated 70% of Walmart's
hourly workforce is women!”
Well, even though my boycott
pledge may be a little empty, I still stand with the workers. And just maybe I’ll try harder to avoid
Walmart next time I think I need something they have—at least until they treat
their employees right. If you’d like,
you can sign the solidarity statement too.