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Walmart workers are hungry for action

Fastfor15-cartoon(Nov. 20, 2015) — For years, people across Washington state have stood with Walmart workers in their struggle for respect from the largest employer in America. Walmart employees are paid such low wages that many have to skip meals, make sacrifices so that their children can eat, and go to work hungry.

Meanwhile, Walmart workers are not allowed to use their 10% discount on healthy food including meat, eggs, vegetables or even bread. The average Walmart worker has less than $5 per day to spend on food for themselves and their families. By that same measure, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon would have $5,225 a day.

So this year, in the 15 days leading up to Black Friday, Nov. 27, Walmart workers and their supporters across the country are conducting fasts to call attention to the shameful treatment of Walmart employees. #FastFor15 is fifteen days of action led by Walmart workers fasting at Walton homes, Board of Directors homes and Walmart stores and offices.

TAKE A STAND — Here’s what you can do to show support:

walmart-food-displayJoin the Fast for 15!  You can express your solidarity on Monday, Nov. 23 — the Puget Sound area’s local day of fasting — by either abstaining from eating or eating only what you can buy for $4.95. Join fasters as Seattle’s Westlake Plaza, 4th & Pine, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, and share your solidarity online via #Fastfor15.

UPDATE (Nov. 25, 2015) — The photo at right, from a display at Seattle’s Westlake Park on Monday, shows the difference between how much McMillon and the average Walmart employee have to spend on food per day.

Join the Black Friday protests on Friday, Nov. 27 as the Fast for 15 folks share Walmart CEO Doug McMillon’s daily allowance with Walmart workers in their struggle for respect.

FEDERAL WAY — At 10 a.m., meet at the Federal Way Walmart, 1900 S. 314th St.

MOUNT VERNON — At 10 a.m. meet at the Mount Vernon Walmart, 2301 Freeway Dr. Meet at the Southeast corner of the parking lot for details of the action.

Support Walmart workers by signing the petition to get Walmart to extend its 10% employee discount to cover all food.

While the Waltons own more wealth than the bottom 42% of our country, Walmart workers are struggling every day to put food on the table. Think Progress reports:

In the spring, Walmart announced it would raise its wage floor to $10 an hour. That’s still a far cry from what workers need to earn to live securely in terms of basic nutrition and financial stability. But it’s an explicit acknowledgment that the company’s decades-long commitment to keeping its labor costs as low as possible had backfired, costing the company customers as well as chronic bad press…

Prior to those changes, the numbers on Walmart’s reliance on taxpayer-funded safety net programs for its profit margins were staggering. Each individual Walmart Superstore incurred $1 million per year in food stamps, welfare, and other safety net costs for its underpaid part-time work crews. Low wages economy-wide engender an estimated quarter-trillion dollars’ worth of assistance spending yearly.

For more information about the Black Friday protests and #Fastfor15, click here.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!