(Thinkprogress video via Paul Constant)
I’m guessing that anyone in the Balloon Juice readership who’s shopping at Wal-Mart isn’t doing so by choice, and that most of you are probably pretty well aware of the history behind the Black Friday Strikes. But if those good Thanksgiving vibes have put you in a generous frame of mind, the group Making Change At Walmart has a donation site to support the brave souls who are putting their livehoods on the line.
Natasha Lennard at Salon has a link-intensive summary:
…“Black Friday,” wrote Eidelson, “workers have pledged — barring concessions from the company — will bring their biggest disruptions yet.” Walmart employees across the country have a host of grievances including unsafe and unsanitary working conditions, sexual harassment, excessive hours, forced labor and low pay. Ned Resnikoff at MSNBC flagged a leaked internal document (first obtained by HuffPo) that revealed that base pay at Walmart’s Sam’s Place stores can be as low as $8 an hour (or $16,000 per year), with wage increases in increments as low as 20 or 40 cents per hour. To put this in context, Gawker recently highlighted a Demos study that says that raising the salary of all full-time workers at large retailers to $25,000 per year would lift more than 700,000 people out of poverty, at a cost of only a 1 percent price increase for customers…
Gawker also linked to a list of planned Wal-Mart Black Friday actions.
Final fillip, from ThinkProgress:
… Walmart CEO Michael Duke has a total compensation of $18.1 million, and is the second highest paid executive in the Fortune 500. According to CNN Money, it would take more than 700 employees’ salaries to match his total compensation package.
Making Change at Walmart, the group leading Black Friday’s protest, is asking for a minimum wage of $13 an hour, more full time positions and affordable health care. Currently, the typical employee is paid $22,100 a year, slightly below the federal poverty line for a family of four (which is at $23,050 in 2012). Walmart earned $15 billion last year.