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Latest News - September 2012

September 20, 2012
Labor is rallying Wal-Mart workers on Saturday in Uptown's Griggs Park
By: Maria Halkias/Reporter

Labor unions in Chicago and Los Angeles have recently rallied teachers and warehouse workers. Now the UFCW is working with retail employees in Dallas.

The Organization United for Respect at Walmart, or OUR Walmart, Occupy Dallas, Wal-Mart and other retail employees and union members are planning to march in Uptown Dallas Saturday to put a spotlight on changes in hours and pay they are seeking from the world’s largest retailer.

The groups say they are marching in support of “good jobs starting with the world’s largest private employer.”

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. also happens to be the largest private employer in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with 45,000 people working at stores, distribution centers and regional offices.

A few hundred people are expected to gather Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Griggs Park at 2200 Hugo St. in Dallas.

A spokeswoman for the United Food & Commercial Works International Union in Washington, D.C., said marchers plan to end up nearby at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at 2305 N. Central Expressway. Wal-Mart has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Marchers plan to carry signs that read “I want to work full time” and will chant “Change Wal-Mart.”

Labor unions have targeted Wal-Mart for several years. They became active especially in California in the early 2000s when Wal-Mart first started selling groceries there when it began opening Supercenters on the West Coast.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, Wal-Mart operates more than 120 Wal-Mart Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Clubs, making it its largest major U.S. market.

Kroger is the only grocery chain in Dallas with workers represented by unions.

Wal-Mart said on its website that its average wage in Texas as of July was $12.31 an hour for regular, full-time hourly employees.

The UFCW said employees face cuts to hours and quoted a University of California study that said Wal-Mart workers in the U.S. make an average of $8.81 an hour.

Uptown was the scene of another large protest last year. Occupy Dallas, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, marched on Oct. 6 from Pike Park to the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank building.



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