Wal-Mart workers are planning strikes in more than 20 cities over the next week.
The strikes are scheduled to begin Friday, less than a week before Wal-Mart investors are gathering in Bentonville, Arkansas for the retailer’s annual shareholders meeting.
The striking workers will primarily be mothers who are fighting for higher pay, better benefits, and more opportunities for full-time work, organisers said Thursday. They are also protesting what they call retaliation against workers who speak out against the company.
The strikes are being organised by the union-backed group OUR Wal-Mart, which was formed two years ago after unsuccessful attempts to unionize Wal-Mart employees.
It’s the same group that has led massive strikes and protests at Wal-Mart stores for the past two years on Black Friday. This week’s protests will be much smaller than the Black Friday actions, however, which took place at more than 1,500 stores last year.
Our Wal-Mart is asking Wal-Mart to pay workers at least $US25,000 annually, or $US13 an hour. The group claims that most Wal-Mart employees make less than $US9 per hour, an estimate based on data from IBISWorld and Glassdoor.com. Wal-Mart pegs the figure at $US11.83.
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