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Walmart’s employees went on strike this month for the first time since the retailer opened 50 years ago. Supply-chain employees in Louisiana, Maryland and Texas have all staged walk-outs. More are expected to join before the annual investor meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas tomorrow.
While a few disgruntled employees are hardly enough to topple the world’s largest retailer, there is reason to believe that years of discontent are catching up to Walmart, Josh Eidelson at Salon reports.
These protests are a “game-changer,” according to Eidelson:
“Before these work stoppages, “the other stuff had been so predictable from Walmart’s point of view,” Columbia University political scientist Dorian Warren said yesterday. They’ve always had activists coming to Bentonville. They’ve never had a disruption in their supply chain.” Warren, who’s co-writing a book on Walmart, said the strikes by warehouse workers and store employees are a game-changer: “There was ‘Before,’ and there was ‘After,’ and we just crossed that line.”‘
One man interviewed by Salon is making $8.90 after three years at Walmart. Other complaints include dirty working conditions and inadequate access to healthcare.
More Walmart supply centres across the country are organising strikes.
For their part, Walmart is going to make a big announcement tomorrow in response to the retaliation.
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