THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
BLOG POSTS

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Arizona Walmart's Black Friday, 2012: Pickets in Buckeye and Tempe!

Anarchists, Pacifists, Labor and Shoppers UNITE:
All turn out to support WALMART workers on Black Friday!!! 

(This day represents more than 1/4 of Walmart's annual sales...)

Let's all STAND UP to LIVE BETTER. 

TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER THAN WE ARE ALONE...

The Phoenix IWW will be hosting a picket at the Walmart distribution center in Buckeye, AZ on Friday Nov. 23, "Black Friday," in solidarity with Walmart workers who have been organizing and taking action all over the country. We will be meeting at the Worker's Resource Center  (331 E. Wiletta, PHX) at 8:30am to carpool out to Buckeye. It takes approx. 1 hour to get there so we will picket at about 9:30 or 10am. The address is 23701 W. Southern Ave., in Buckeye. We will picket for approx. 2 hours with the goal of being back in town around 1pm in order to support the Walmart picket in Tempe.


OTHER PHOENIX WALMARTS to PICKET or BOYCOTT on November 23, 2012
(support local merchants or buy fair trade for loved ones on your gift list): 

1607 W Bethany Home Rd
3721 E Thomas Rd
6145 N 35th Ave
5250 W Indian School Rd
4747 E Cactus Rd
2435 E Baseline Rd
6150 S 35th Ave
1825 W Bell Rd
2020 N 75th Ave
4617 E Bell Rd
7575 W Lower Buckeye Rd
 
and for shoppers from ASU: 
800 E Southern Ave, TEMPE, AZ  


PLEASE BRING SIGNS OF SOLIDARITY
 AND WEAR BLACK.



October was a banner month for Walmart workers nationwide.  Each week saw more Walmart workers speaking up and going on strike, to protest Walmart’s attempts to silence workers and retaliate against them. The strikes culminated in an announcement at Walmart’s Arkansas headquarters that if the retaliation does not cease, workers will make Black Friday a “memorable” day for the company.
To make Black Friday a success, Walmart workers need the support of community members like you. Our website now features a number of ways to get involved and support Walmart strikers on Black Friday.
1) Take the Black Friday Pledge to say that you will stand with workers on the busiest shopping day of the year. On the Corporate Action Network website we are starting to gather locations for actions and events supporting Walmart strikers, as well as materials. Enter your city or zip code to see if we have something scheduled near you or adopt your own store.

2) If you want to help in another way, why not sponsor a striker? The brave act of going out on strike also comes with an economic cost. By making a donation, you can help to ensure that Walmart strikers receive a $50 grocery gift card.

3) Use our Share for Respect Facebook app to tell your Walmart worker friends about what’s going on!

4) Join the conversation on how to change Walmart by contributing art and ideas to our Tumblr.

5) Connect with workers and other community supporters on our Official Black Friday Walmart Strike Facebook page and like the Making Change at Walmart Facebook page.

6) On Twitter, use the hashtag #walmartstrikers and follow Making Change at Walmart.
Below is the official call to action from Walmart workers with the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart). We hope to see you on Black Friday!

OUR Walmart Workers Call to Community – 

Across the country, Walmart employs 1.4 million people. We are not just the Associates that you see in stores, we are moms and dads, sons and daughters, husbands and wives working hard to support our families.

We have been speaking out for good jobs with decent pay, regular hours, affordable healthcare and respect, but instead of working with us to make changes, Walmart has attempted to silence us and has retaliated against us for speaking out. Our jobs have been threatened, our hours cut, our schedules changed. Some of us have even been fired.

We will not be silenced. Throughout the holiday season, including Black Friday, we will be standing up for an end to the retaliation against workers who speak out for what’s right for our families, our communities and our country, and we hope that you will stand with us. It is not an easy decision, but without an end to the retaliation, Walmart workers across the country will be walking off the job in protest, and we hope you will join us in creative, non-violent action in solidarity with our strike. We ask that supporters take action that spreads the word about our strikes and demonstrates to Walmart a wave of support for workers who are speaking out.

Together, we are calling on Walmart to end the retaliation against hard-working employees who are courageously speaking out for better pay, fair schedules and more hours, affordable health care and respect.

We will not be silenced until we see real change at Walmart.

Sincerely,

OUR Walmart Workers

------------------------

Below is our Declaration for Respect. Please sign on if you agree with the changes we asking to see from Walmart.

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.
  • 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.”
  • 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.
  • Too often Associates are faced with retaliation when speaking out about issues at work. Walmart should honor our constitutional right to freedom of speech and adhere to company policies that support dialogue and resolution.
  • Walmart’s management often chooses to enforce written policies only when it is in their own interest, leaving Associates guessing proper protocol. Walmart should do more to ensure managers are properly trained on how to evenly and equitably enforce Walmart’s written policies at all times and to provide all Associates with a policy manual.
  • Too many of us have been denied equal treatment. Walmart should adopt affirmative policies that secure full access to opportunity and equal treatment to all Associates regardless of gender identity, race, disability, sexual orientation, or age.
  • We know our company has an impact around the globe in terms of its standards and practices. Walmart should require that suppliers and stores around the globe operate with the highest standards and ensure that workers’ freedom to associate is respected.
  • Far too many of us have to rely on government assistance for our basic needs. Walmart should provide wages and benefits that ensure that no Associate has to rely on government assistance.
We envision a future in which our company treats us, the Associates of Walmart, with respect. We envision a world where we succeed in our careers, our company succeeds in business, our customers receive great service and value, and Walmart and Associates share all of these goals. And finally, we close with one more rule from Mr. Sam: “Share your profits with all your Associates, and treat them as partners.”


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