Last week we were treated to a presentation by an OUR Walmart organizer in Chicago, IL. A bright, shining, friendly woman told us about the well-known bad conditions of employment for America’s largest employer: Walmart, a capitalist behemoth exploiting the shit out of 1,400,000 of our working-class brothers and sisters here in “The Greatest Country In The World” (TM).
She told us about how Walmart “associates” were being forced to work back-to-back shifts over the Thanksgiving “holiday” in order to simultaneously “serve” Walmart as well as the hordes of feckless “consumers” in the US, hell-bent on invading the Walmarts of America because the man on TV told them to do so.
She described how Walmart uses computer programs to create employee – oh, excuse us! – “associate” work schedules. These computers are, of course, designing work schedules that benefit only the lords of Walmart, and present the worker bees at Walmart… oh, sorry! the “associates” at Walmart with schedules like this:
Thanksgiving Eve: 7PM to 4 AM
Thanksgiving Day: 7AM to 4 PM
And so on and so on.
This OUR Walmart organizer went on to describe the type of “organizing” she was doing. These organizers, although they are somehow affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, are NOT trying to organize a union inside Walmart! They are simply helping disaffected Walmart workers… oh, sorry again – we mean “Associates” – to organize a “strike” on “Black Friday” to show how the Walmart associates are becoming unhappy with the conditions they are being forced to work under. But they are NOT trying to form a union! They are just going on strike.
Well, we are not that smart, but we’ve been studying union history for, oh… 35 years, off and on, and this “strategy” of this OUR Walmart organizer left us scratching our heads. She asked all of us at a meeting of young trade unionists to sign a document pledging our support for her non-union of Walmart employee… we mean “associates”! Every one of the trade union members present signed on to support her incomprehensible non-union organizing strategy except us – we asked for more information, but crossed out the part where we were supposed to agree to support this cockamamie non-union non-organizing effort. “[We] are confused by your proposal” we wrote over the crossed-out portion of the contract.
Well, it was good that we did that because, after reviewing “OUR Walmart”‘s website today, it is clear to us that – far from being anything even approximating a union organizing drive – OUR Walmart is clearly a disgusting de-facto COMPANY UNION organized by anti-union pro-capitalist liberals dedicated to creating a fawning pro-company “union” that will seek to inspire a love of Walmart and its founder, Sam Walton, in the hearts of every Walmart slave who works for this vicious, worker-exploiting shitty mega-corporation. We warn workers at Walmart and everywhere else: “OUR Walmart” is a trap for you! It is a PRO-COMPANY FAKE UNION that seeks to bind you even closer to Walmart so that you can be more effectively robbed by this vicious capitalist enterprise! Stay away from “OUR Walmart”! It is not a union, but a COMPANY UNION organized by muddle-headed liberals who are so completely pro-capitalist that they want to get you to suck up to the company in every way possible. These people are ENEMIES of the working class!
Think we are making this up? Take a look at the OUR Walmart propaganda from their own website: look at this petition – Sign the Declaration for Respect!
Look at this disgusting, pro-company appeal! It is absolutely indistinguishable from what a company union’s propaganda would look like: “We, the hourly Associates, are the life-blood of Walmart. Our company is stronger because of the values we embrace – a strong work ethic, compassion for one another and honesty. Yet we are not treated with the respect we deserve. The fundamental desire to be shown respect is what led us to join together as OUR Walmart – an organization of Walmart Associates, by Walmart Associates, for Walmart Associates. We are one Organization United for Respect at Walmart.”
Walmart’s own marketing department couldn’t create a more fawning declaration of the employees’ fealty to the company than these shitty liberal fuckwads from OUR Walmart have written! Read on:
“One of Sam Walton’s rules for building a successful business was, “Listen to everyone in your company and figure out ways to get them talking.” We are following that winning philosophy. However, too many of us do not have a true voice at our stores. Our concerns about providing the highest quality customer care and about making our jobs, quality jobs are ignored. Walmart should listen to OUR Walmart, celebrate our initiative, and follow our recommendations.
“We are the foundation of the quality service and value Walmart provides its customers. Walmart should honor the hard work and humanity of Associates by living up to Mr. Sam’s promise of ‘respect for the individual.'”
“Mr. Sam”? Shouldn’t that be “Massa Sam”? What a revolting, Stepin Fetchit posture the OUR Walmart liberals want the Walmart workers to adopt! And please, don’t call Walmart workers “workers”! No! The liberal pro-Walmart “organizers” of “OUR Walmart” want to call them the same bogus name that Walmart calls them: “associates”!
“Associates who assert their freedom of association frequently face retribution from the company. Walmart should allow Associates to freely join OUR Walmart without fear of negative company action.
“Associates who have tried to utilize Walmart’s Open Door have found that their issues are not resolved and confidentiality is not respected. Walmart should ensure confidentiality in the Open Door and provide in writing resolution to issues that are brought up and always allow associates to bring a co-worker as a witness.
“Walmart publicly claims that pay for full-time Associates averages more than $13 per hour in some communities, when in truth most of us work for less than $10 per hour and are only scheduled for part-time hours, making it difficult to support our families. Walmart should follow through on its public statements and pay at least $13 per hour and expand the percentage of full-time workers.
“Our schedules are often irregular and inflexible making it difficult to care for our families. Walmart should make scheduling more predictable and dependable.
“Too many of us are unable to access Walmart’s health care because it is too expensive or we lack the hours to qualify. Walmart should expand health care coverage and continue to work to expand coverage when health reform goes into effect, rather than taking advantage of loopholes in the law to deny coverage.” Ad nauseam!
If Walmart had wanted to create a company union, they couldn’t have possibly created pro-company propaganda more fawning and feckless than the repulsive, pro-capitalist system, pro-company dogshit propaganda than the sellout assholes at OUR Walmart have produced!
The Independent Workers Party of Chicago warns all Walmart workers: STAY AWAY FROM “OUR WALMART”! They are a company union!
If you want to organize an ACTUAL union, then please contact the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, who have organized hundreds of supermarkets and other retail stores. What you need is a UNION, not a COMPANY UNION like OUR Walmart! You don’t need to be told to worship the rotten carcass of that capitalist scumbag Sam Walton! You need a REAL union that fights for your rights as EXPLOITED WORKERS – not “ASSOCIATES”! Your interests and Walmart’s interests are not the same, nor are they even marginally similar: THEY ARE COMPLETELY COUNTERPOSED TO EACH OTHER! Walmart wants to cut your wages and benefits so their corporate executives and shareholders can make more money: you are fighting for higher wages and benefits to help provide your families with the necessaries of life. The company’s interests are only going to prosper at YOUR EXPENSE!
The liberals leading “OUR Walmart” want to pretend that if you beg Walmart enticingly enough, they might condescend to grant you access to the crumbs that fall of their banquet tables. FUCK THEM! If you want to lead a strike that can organize more than 2400 out of 1,400,000
Walmart employees, you need to organize REAL strikes: take over the Walmarts next “Black Friday”. Seize the stores! Organize sit-down strikes where you physically take over the stores throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, holding them until the company agrees to recognize your union and negotiates a union contract with major pay raises, benefit raises and an end to part-time slavery for Walmart workers! Maybe, if you feel adventurous enough, you might try to fight for a major reduction in the work week, like the workers in Chicago did back in 1886, when they fought to cut the work week in HALF, from 16 to 8 hours a day! Today, we need to fight for a 6-hour working day, at 8 hours’ pay! Fight for a 4-day work week of 24 hours for full-time. It’s about time that the massive productivity gains that the capitalist class has been enjoying since the introduction of computers finally produce some major gains for the workers.
“OUR Walmart” is a liberal-led, pro-capitalist, company union! To hell with “OUR Walmart”!
Workers of the World, Unite!
[TO BE CONTINUED]