California Walmart Store Workers Go Out on Historic Strike
About 60 morning-shift workers at the Walmart Supercenter in Pico Rivera, California, reported for duty Thursday–not in the cavernous store but on a picket line in front of it for a historic strike that looks to be part of a rapidly expanding wave of protest this fall.
Forty late-night workers, then more from the afternoon shift, joined the picket line. And over the course of the morning, dozens of workers from 10 other Los Angeles-area Walmarts also walked out. Workers called the one-day, unfair labor practice strike to demand that the nation's largest private employer treat its workers with more respect and stop retaliation against outspoken workers.
Other than a small walkout several years ago in Florida, this is the first–and certainly the largest–strike by Walmart “associates” in the United States. Although no Walmart stores in the United States are unionized, an organization of associates with support from the United Food and Commercial Workers–OUR Walmart–has over the past year created a network both in individual stores and nationally among thousands of employees, including about 30 active members out of 300 associates employed at the Pico Rivera store.