Walmart Workers & Supporters Can Claim a Victory This Black Friday

Today, Colorado Jobs with Justice activists joined almost 75 supporters of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) associates. True to the Jobs with Justice model, these supporters came from labor, faith, community, and student-youth groups, marching, leafleting, and letting Walmart's customers and associates know that we all support OUR Walmart members' demands for dignity, fair wages, full-time work, and decent working conditions. For more photos, click here.           

See below for a statement from the national Jobs with Justice on this historic day of action.

A Statement of Jobs with Justice
In a historic move, nearly a thousand actions have begun around the country as a part of a rolling series of walk-outs by Walmart’s store associates.  The Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), called for the strike after numerous unfair labor practices (ULPs) the company committed against worker and in protest of Walmart’s ongoing attempts to silence workers for speaking out for better jobs.  This strike follow successful direct action by warehouse workers and seafood workers along the company’s vast supply chain.
In response, the company continued to make illegal threats to workers in the stores—even going so far as to file a bogus ULP claim with the National Labor Relations Board.
However, public support has been widespread, with many mobilizing to stores over the holidays to support workers who are walking out.  Over $125,000 has already been raised for strike support.  Jobs with Justice coalitions alone are responsible for mobilizing to over 50 store actions around the country.
This new movement of the Walmart 99% is only going to grow, and more rapidly each day.  It has become clear that the company cannot deflect it forever. 
The only solution is for Walmart to sit down with all of its workers, from factory to store, to collectively negotiate better conditions for the people the company depends on.


Adelante! No Papers, No Fear, Ride for Justice

Last week the No Papers, No Fear Ride for Justice took off for a six week tour of the South.  They are stopping in local communities to share challenges undocumented immigrants face and are organizing actions that confronts fear and builds community.  Colorado Jobs with Justice, along with many other organizations, welcome the riders on their first stop in Denver.  For two days, riders and local community leaders shared stories, engaged in strategy sessions and shared laughter over meals.
Coloradans face their own "show me your papers" SB90 which has been in effect since 2006.  SB90 has kept communities under attack and has added more family and friends into ICE's deportation dragnet.  Local leaders shared stories of courage, their commitment to organizing, and the need to overturn SB90 at a rally on the capitol steps.
"When we are made fearful and divided, whether it is in the workplace or in the community, that is when we become vulnerable to exploitation."  Said Joe Thomas of Colorado Jobs with Justice, "But when are organize we shed our fears and become powerful."
This week the riders are in New Orleans meeting with day laborers, civil rights leaders, and to support the Southern 32 in their effort to stop their deportation.  The Southern 32 is a group of immigrant labor organizers and civil rights defenders currently in deportation proceedings for having the courage to stand up for their rights and is another demonstration that we are stronger when we are organized.  Another great example of the courage power that comes from organizing for dignity and respect.  The riders take with them the strength, encouragement, and the stories of the lives they are now connected to all the way their last stop, Charlotte, North Carolina.  Adelante! 
Every day we are posting to FacebookTwitter, and to the blog: http://nopapersnofear.org 


Jobs with Justice & Allies Confront Corporate Power

Today, Colorado Jobs with Justice joined the Denver Area Labor Federation, SEIU, UFCW, and CWA in confronting corporate power. With all of the national conversation around income inequality, we wanted to be clear: The massive and growing gap between the rich and the rest of us is not an accident. It's not the inevitable result of mysterious market forces. It's about corporate bad actors and greedy corporate executives deliberately driving down wages and benefits for their workers so that they can take home ever more massive profits and executive paychecks.

From CWA District 7, Jay Boyle told the crowd of fifty labor and community activists about how Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam took home more than $20 million last year, and their retired CEO gets a pension of millions a year -- while Verizon is demanding to gut pensions for its workers. The crowd all made phone calls to CEO Lowell McAdam's voicemail, just to brighten his day. Then the UFCW's Mark Belkin spoke about efforts at organizing with Walmart associates, as well as a strike at Buckley Air Force Base, where eight barbers have struck at their location of a nationwide chain of barbershops.

Walmart will be opening new stores in Denver and across Colorado in the coming year, and UFCW and Jobs with Justice will be there to stand up to their greed. Last but certainly not least, we heard from Celia, a proud SEIU 105 member and janitor, who -- along with her sisters and brothers at Local 105 -- are fighting for a fair contract this year. The cleaning companies and the property owners of the building 105's members clean are making huge profits -- again -- and again they want to work their employees even harder for too little pay.

Thanks to all those who joined us today, but this is only the beginning of these campaigns. With Walmart expanding, Walmart associates organizing under the banner of OUR Walmart (Organization United for Respect at Walmart), CenturyLink looking to follow in Verizon's footsteps in attacking CWA members hard-earned middle-class jobs, and SEIU's Justice for Janitors campaign officially launching in April, there will be many opportunities to be there, standing up for workers and against corporate greed! See you next time!