December 06, 2013
Volume 1, Issue 301
Black Friday Strikes Hit 1,500 Walmart Locations
Thousands of Walmart workers and supporters celebrated Black Friday on the picket line last week at more than 1,500 Walmart locations from coast to coast, making it the largest ever strike against the mega-retailer in its 50-year history. More than 100 protestors were arrested for engaging in civil disobedience in order to send a strong message to Walmart.
“I’m standing with associates all over the nation. We want to make $25,000,” Walmart worker and OUR Walmart member Meiasha Bradley said. “We all feel, nationwide, that Walmart, you're a billion dollar company. You can treat your associates better than what you do.”
Immigration Reform Advocates Launch Sit-in at Rep. McCarthy’s Office
Following in the footsteps of the “Fast 4 Families” that immigration reform advocates have been holding in Washington DC, this week the California labor movement and immigration reform groups kicked off the “11 Days of 11 Million” sit-in at Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s Bakersfield office. Rep. McCarthy is the House Majority Whip, and has the power to help bring immigration reform up for a vote. But instead of listening to his constituents, he’s locked them out of his office and has refused to see them or accept their letters.
“With such huge stakes on the line, it’s necessary to show our solidarity with fasters in D.C.,” said Rob England of the Kern-Inyo-Mono Central Labor Council. “All we wanted to do was to deliver a letter to [Rep McCarthy] and have our voice heard. And unfortunately he decided to duck and hide on us. No congressman should ever lock out his voters.”
Fast-Food Workers in 130 Cities Strike for a Living Wage
On Thursday, December 5th, thousands of fast food workers walked off the job to take a stand for decent wages, justice and respect at work. The actions reached more than 130 cities, including upwards of a dozen here in California, making it the largest fast food strike in history.
“This is a beautiful day. We shut down this McDonalds in downtown Oakland, and the most beautiful thing about it was that we inspired others to walk off the job because they hear what we’re saying and they know it’s true,” said Shonda Roberts, a fast food worker at KFC and one of the organizers of the Oakland strike actions. “$15 an hour is what we need, and $15 an hour is what we’re gonna get!”
Monday: National Day of Action to Reclaim Public Education
Teachers, parents, students and communities have been facing unprecedented attacks on their public schools, jobs and civil rights. These attacks raise fundamental questions: Will public education continue as a truly public institution that aspires to provide all students with an equal opportunity to learn?
Our public schools are the gateway to racial and economic justice, which is why education unions and community groups are teaming up to reclaim the promise. On December 9th, they’ll be holding a nationwide Day of Action, and all are encouraged to join and show support for students, educators and families.
- In LA: Join the action on Monday beginning at 5pm at 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. Learn more.
- In San Francisco: Join the march and rally on Monday beginning at 430pm at 8th and Market. Learn more.
- In San Diego: Attend a special screening of “Inequality for All” beginning at 5:30pm at Lincoln High School, 4777 Imperial Ave.
This Week on Labor’s Edge
- “Truck Drivers Who Haul for Walmart Strike at the Port of LA” by Teamster Nation
- “UC Health Care Workers Strike, Charging Harassment and Intimidation” by Mike Hall, AFL-CIO
- “Skip the Shopping Line; Spend Black Friday on the Picket Line” by Rebecca Band, California Labor Federation
- “Working People Standing Together Give New Meaning to “Black Friday”” by Rebecca Band, California Labor Federation
- “Professional Dancer Union Member Credits AFA-CWA Member Mom” by Darren Shiroma, AFA-CWA
- “More Than 100 Fast-Food Worker Strikes Set for Thursday” by Maria Trisler, Low Pay is Not OK
- “Keep Your Burgers, Keep Your Fries. We Want Our Wages Supersized!” by Rebecca Band, California Labor Federation