5 Ways to Support Striking Wal-Mart Workers

Wal-Mart strikes are occurring around the country, but you need not be one of the company’s under-compensated employees to participate. Here are five ways you can support Wal-Mart workers in their quest for economic justice:

1. Join Them!

Nothing demonstrates support for striking workers more than actually showing up yourself. Not only do the workers appreciate your display of solidarity, but also the increased turnout signifies to bystanders that this is a legitimate problem worthy of everyone’s concern.

On Black Friday, a record 1,500 protests will take place at Wal-Marts across the country. Though not every location will necessarily have striking workers participating in the event, each protest will educate consumers about the evils of the corporation and show even the workers who stay on shift that citizens support them earning a living wage.

Even if you thought you’d never be caught dead at a Wal-Mart, particularly on the busiest shopping day, it’s always turns out to be much more fun joining the activist crowd outside than fighting the consumer crowd inside. Search BlackFridayProtest.org to find the nearest Walmart strike event near you.


2. Culture Jam

For those daring enough to enter Wal-Mart’s front doors, here’s a clever – and tiny bit sneaky – way to inform customers about the company’s unethical practices. 99 Pickets, a pro-labor blog aligned with the Occupy movement, has created price cards and banners that can easily be slipped in to replace Wal-Mart’s existing signage.

In what the blog calls a “rebranding” campaign, rogue protesters can print out the appropriately sized signs at home and then switch them out with more honest slogans. With little effort, a sign that talks about “low prices” now informs shoppers about the store’s “low wages” instead.

While it’d be ridiculous to pretend the signs will remain in place forever, they blend in well enough to go undetected by management for sufficient time to spread the message to patrons and workers who could use your support.


3. Don’t Shop There

It may seem like a no-brainer suggestion, but don’t do it. Just don’t give your money to a company that underpays and mistreats its employees, no matter what kind of “deal” Wal-Mart advertises.

Some people mistakenly believe that the way to support Wal-Mart workers is to shop there more, but your spending will sadly not earn the employees higher wages. As various economists have pointed out, Wal-Mart can afford to give significant raises to all of its employees already without putting much of a dent in its massive profits.

Better yet, don’t just skip shopping at Wal-Mart, shop nowhere on Black Friday. Some organizations have challenged the retail holiday norm by dubbing the day “Buy Nothing Day.” It’s a good opportunity to reject consumer culture altogether.


4. Sponsor a Fired Striker

When employees attempt to unionize or strike for improved wages and working conditions, Wal-Mart is notorious for firing them, not only as punishment, but also as a warning to their colleagues that any talk of unionizing will not be tolerated. Though these illegal actions are then subject to multiple lawsuits, Wal-Mart has gotten away with it often enough to continue the practice.

If you have extra money — you’re not spending it at Wal-Mart after all – consider donating it to former Wal-Mart employees who were terminated for striking. The United Food and Commercial Workers has developed a program that pays these fired Wal-Mart workers to continue attempting to organize workers. These individuals risked – and lost – their jobs and deserve a living wage for their courage to stand up to the corporate giant. Contribute to the cause here.


5. Sign Petitions

If you can’t be there to shout your discontent at Wal-Mart in person, make sure your voice is still heard. Care2 has a variety of petitions relating to Wal-Mart that could use your support:

Photo Credit: Brave New Films


Jim Ven
Jim Ven7 months ago

thanks for the article.

Elke Hoppenbrouwers

Because I am incensed by the way Walmart treats their employees and by the quality of their wares I have for years boycotted this store. I also don't think that the prices they offer are as low as everyone says. On black Friday, like last year, I spent four hours protesting in front of a Walmart. the following Tuesday I spent another four hours in the rain protesting the low wages of fast food workers. By the way, Walmart was driven out of European countries because they would not put up with Walmart's practices and shoddy merchandise.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm3 years ago

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAA absolute propaganda piece Wanda. First of all when you buy junk at Walmart that falls apart 3 times faster then you are saving NOOOOOOOO Money.

Its an illusion like everything else about Walmart

Wanda Bagram
Past Member 3 years ago


Lynn C.
Lynn C3 years ago


Lynn C.
Lynn C3 years ago


Robert H.
Robert Hamm3 years ago

Actually their prices arent all that great. Like all stores they make on product cheap and jacl the ;rice of something else up. The clothes and other chinese junk have to be replaced so often that there is NO real savings. Yes the cash register tape looks good. But when you have to buy underwear 3 times as often you arent really saving anything.

I understand the rural areas may like the convenience of walmart but they are also driving well over half the local businesses out of business and driving wages even further DOWN.

I dodnt fault Walmart workers I fault the corporation.

KathrynElizabet Etier

Hey, I'm a member of a movement and didn't even know it. "Buy nothing day" has long been how I've felt about Black Friday. Stores could be giving stuff away for free and it wouldn't induce me to shop that day. As big a villain as Walmart may be, we should remember that for some, Walmart is the only choice. It's not only Walmart workers who are struggling. There are others who have to stretch dollars outlandishly far, and shopping at Walmart makes their food dollars go further. In rural areas, Walmart is often the only place to get consumer goods--the cost of gasoline to drive to cities that offer more shopping venues is prohibitive for some. I avoid Walmart as much as possible and do most of my shopping on-line (I live in one of those rural areas). Unfortunately, I must go there at times no matter how much I hate the place, and after I visit I just hate it more. They treat their employees like crap, but they're not all that great to their customers either.

Rob B.
Rob B3 years ago

Absolutely not. As an employer, Wal Mart is not a bad place to work. Ask my students who are beginning workers...first job...learning how to conduct oneself in the business world. Paying people with no experience for entry level jobs some absurd amount of money does nothing except drive up prices and put beginning workers on a par with skilled employees. Result: inflation.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm3 years ago

Until the government stops being at war with itself and its consituents things will get no better.

The business community has no idea what lays ahead because Congress is jumping all over the place with its ideology. Until there is stability and compromiose in congress again NOTHING will get better in the business world.

If companies dont hire then we can make enough money to buy their supply side products. Its simple. So if we arent buying them then they have no reaon to build them. I dodnt understand why this is so complicated fro some of you. Suopply side economics only work IF there is a consumer. Without a middle class things are going to stay right where they are. And you ideologues will keep blaming socialism instead of adressing the real problem.