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LIVESTREAM: Walmart Workers in Los Angeles Hold First-Ever Sit-Down Strike

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

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Today, Walmart workers in Los Angeles escalated the fight for fair wages and treatment, holding the first-ever sit-down strike at a Walmart store.

Workers entered the store this morning and refused to move, holding a sit-in near cash registers and racks. “Stand Up, Live Better! Sit Down, Live Better!” the group chanted before sitting down.

As my colleague Kevin Gosztola recently wrote, the only way to truly solve our problems is through a steadfast commitment to resistance and civil disobedience. Firedoglake strongly supports the actions taken by these brave workers and their supporters, and we will continue to stand in solidarity with them as they take their fight to other stores across the country.

From the organizers:

Over the last year, Walmart workers have pressured Walmart to change its pregnancy policy, provide access to more hours and most recently to pledge to phase out its minimum wage jobs. However, when workers’ calls for change started to gain momentum, Walmart struck back. They retaliated against vocal workers standing up for better wages and worker conditions.

Among those fired for standing up was Rosa Valenzuela, who was terminated just a month short of her 20-year anniversary with the company. After giving Walmart nearly two decades of her life, the company created excuses to discipline the sixty-seven year old, even citing an incident where she was said to have clocked out 2 minutes late.

“I worked for Walmart for nearly 20 years and they fired me for speaking up for all of our rights. I was a stone in their shoe, so they got rid of me. I feel betrayed,” Rosa said. “I’m out here today so Walmart knows that we won’t be scared into silence. We’re going to keep standing up for our rights until they start to respect us.”

Unfortunately, Rosa’s story is just one of the many incidents of retaliation against workers who dare to risk the small bit of security they have for a better Walmart.

Today in Los Angeles, California, workers sent a clear message to Walmart: retaliation against workers who stand up in the fight for $15, full time and respect in the workplace will not be tolerated.

“I’m striking today for workers like Evelin, Victoria, Rosa, Maria Elena, Graciela who Walmart retaliated against for standing up for change,” said Paramount Walmart worker Martha Sellers. “Walmart and the Waltons need to know that they can’t silence us all.”

Please visit and follow @ChangeWalmart on Twitter for live updates and more information.

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Brian Sonenstein

Brian Sonenstein

Publishing Editor at Shadowproof and columnist at Prison Protest.