Our Walmart

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As reported by J. Nathan Mathias:

"Daniel R. Schlademan: Co-director of OUR Walmart

How do you take on a corporation the size of Walmart? There are only two things on earth bigger than Walmart. The first is the US DOD. The second is the Chinese Liberation Army. Walmart has 1.2 million employees in the US. Those workers are broken into over 4,000 stores, with several hundred workers who are separated across multiple shifts. How do those workers build power in order to affect Walmart?

The campaign with Walmart started in 2010 with workers who wanted to improve their experience of workers. OUR Walmart decided not to wait for the government or the employer to say that it was okay to start an organization within the company. If workers wanted to join together, then they would do that.

The Internet is one of the best ways to find and organize Walmart employees-- there are 400,000 people who list Walmart as their employer on Facebook. Using that collective power, workers successfully pressured the company to give half a million workers a raise. For decades Walmart relied on the assumption that they could pay people less than anyone else. But that's not true anymore. Right now, pregnant women across the country have started a movement called "Respect the bump" to change policies around how much pregnant women are expected to lift while pregnant. They connected on Facebook, they created a plan to address a company-wide policy increase, and they organized to create that change. Until recently, companies believed that their brand was impervious, but workers are learning that they have the power to coordinate across the country.

In past years as an organizer, Daniel talks about ways that organizing has changed from trying to reach all the people in a single plant to focusing on finding the militant few across a company who can shift a wider corporation." (https://civic.mit.edu/blog/natematias/organizing-labor-in-platform-economies-platform-cooperativism-conference)