Today, Pin@y sa Seattle joined hundreds of protesters outside the Walmart store in Renton to support associates who were striking for living wages and better benefits. As part of the BAYAN-USA PNW contingent – together with Anakbayan Seattle, Alay ng Kultura, and Philippine US Solidarity Organization – Pin@y members stood in the pouring rain and handed out hot coffee to the protesters and workers.
The protest was led by Washington YELL (Young Emerging Labor Leaders) in coordination with other actions happening at Walmart stores around the country on Black Friday. Walmart, an employer of 1.4 million people, has been notorious for not paying livable wages, setting irregular hours, and offering substantial working conditions. Associates are speaking out, but Walmart continues union-busting and denying that changes need to be made. For this reason, Pin@y sa Seattle will continue to stand up with Walmart associates until they are granted the rights that all workers deserve.
We already know that Walmart makes huge profits, not only because their purchasing practices drive out small businesses, but also because they skimp on fair wages and benefits for their workers. Many of our uncles and aunties work at the Renton Walmart and have decided to strike back along with other Wal-Mart workers around the nation!
BAYAN PNW is officially endorsing the Walmart strikes this Black Friday. The struggle for economic justice is deeply tied to the struggle for National Democracy. The average full-time Walmart worker earns about $15,500 annually. At that wage, how can our uncles and aunties afford a home? Much less anything else? As the largest private employer in the world, Walmart is setting a terrible standard.
Thank you to everyone who spent Black Friday supporting Walmart workers. Please view this powerful video, which tells their story: “Why are we standing up to live better?“: http://bit.ly/UduJt3
Also, check out this KIRO Radio article by Brandi Kruse: Walmart workers join Black Friday protests across Puget Sound (BAYAN PNW is featured in the photo!) and How to Change Walmart Tumblr, where folks are posting pictures from other Walmart protests that are happening around the country. Please support the associates at Walmart as they fight for their rights as workers. Thank you.