Militarized Police Arrest Peaceful Protesters For Walmart: Strikes, Walkouts In 27 States And That Hillary Clinton Thing Blacked Out By Corporate Media For Walmart.
BY DAVID MOBERG,inthesetimes.com/ – Several hundred supporters of strikers at a giant Walmart warehouse near Chicago converged on the tiny town of Elwood, IL, on Monday, effectively shutting down this key hub of the big retailer’s distribution center for most of the day.
“Today’s CPH—zero,” cheered warehouse worker Phil Bailey, using the managers’ abbreviation of “cartons per hour,” the dreaded standard for the seemingly always more intensified pace of work in the warehouse. Warehouse Workers For Justice (WWFJ), an organization launched and supported by the United Electrical Workers (UE) to raise standards for the industry, reported that managers had sent the day’s workforce home early.
Union and community organization members, clergy, Walmart retail workers, and civic leaders rallied in a nearby parking lot and marched around the two big buildings, before 17 leaders from the supportive constituencies sat down in the late afternoon across Centerpoint Drive, outside the main gate
A couple dozen police officers, clad in heavy black helmets and riot gear, and backed by military-style vehicles, assembled on Walmart’s property. Their equipment—which seemed like overkill for a protest negotiated in advance—had all been purchased with money from the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, specifically for this “mobile force team” jointly operated by a consortium of local police forces, according to Elwood police Chief Fred W. Hayes.
The riot police marched trough the main gate of the warehouse, then handcuffed and arrested the non-violent sit-down protestors on minor traffic obstruction charges, as both they and other demonstrators sang, “We shall not be moved.”
by Jonathan Tasini – Even Wal-Mart, the largest and arguably most powerful corporation in the country, is no match for the triangulation, pandering and obfuscation of Hillary Clinton. With Wal-Mart rating as public enemy number one among many liberals, progressives and just regular voters, Clinton is finding her past ties to Wal-Mart too hot to handle so, presto, over the side the Beast of Bentonville must go.
For those not in the know, Clinton served on Wal-Mart�s board for six years prior to her husband�s run for the presidency. She recently received $5,000 from Wal-Mart. I�ve raised the Wal-Mart relationship repeatedly in my current race against Clinton and it causes deep unease among voters. I believe it speaks to the incumbent�s close ties to abusive corporate power: her large corporate financial contributions, her support for so-called �free trade� (which is simply trade to benefit corporations) and her unwillingness to confront corporate power that denies every American, among other things, universal health insurance.
So, I had to chuckle when I read that Clinton, having never said a bad word about the company in the past, recently said that Wal-Mart should pay more for its workers� health benefits. And, to boot, she returned the $5,000 she had received from the company. But, when asked what she did about the company�s benefits for workers when she served on the board, she replied, �Well, you know, I, that was a long time ago … have to remember��
You can�t have it both ways. You can�t promote an image of being an intelligent woman who has a pile of facts at her fingertips but, at the same time, you suffer a sudden bout of amnesia when asked to answer for your record. And it would be an inconvenient record to defend.
In 1992, Wal-Mart was simply smaller than it is today. But it was still huge, with $43.9 billion in net sales, 1,714 stores and 371,000 employees. Even in 1992, Wal-Mart was already the world�s largest retailer.
And the board Hillary Clinton sat on was rabidly anti-union, was exploiting sweatshop labor around the world, discriminating against women workers, forcing workers to labor off the clock and destroying communities that did not want them. This should not be a shock: Clinton was a partner in the Rose law firm, one of the most active anti-union law firms in the country. More…
Why Walmart, Why Now?
Labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein sheds light on the new surge of Walmart protests.
If, over the next several months, Walmart does not systematically retaliate against these striking workers, it will show other workers that they can sticktheir necks out. It will embolden other workers to do the same thing.
For years, the world’s retail behemoth, Walmart, has seemed impervious to organizing attempts. Unions, specifically the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), have attempted to organize retail workers at the company—long known for both its low prices and poverty wages—but the company’s aggressive union-busting has always won the day.
So it comes as a surprise to many to hear, seemingly out of the blue, that workers in both the retail and distribution arms of the company have walked off the job in Illinois, Maryland, Dallas, California, and elsewhere over the last month. Striking warehouse workers have organized with Warehouse Workers United in California andWarehouse Workers for Justice in Illinois; retail workers around the country with OUR Walmart—all organizations affiliated with unions, but which aren’t unions themselves.
In These Times asked labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein to shed some light on the recent wave of Walmart worker unrest. Lichtenstein, director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy and a professor of history at the University of California-Santa Barbara, has long observed both Walmart’s business practices and workers’ attempts to organize there. He is the author of The Retail Revolution: How Walmart Created a Brave New World of Business.
There have been past attempts by unions to organize Walmart workers that haven’t gained much traction. What has changed? More…