Saturday, August 3, 2013

SEIU is trying to organize Walmart

Flag of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Flag of Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Jim,
My name is Brandon, and Walmart is trying to keep me quiet.
I never thought I'd be taking on Walmart, but that's exactly what's happening. When you know something's wrong, you have to stand up and fight.
Just a few years ago, I was football player at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. My mom got sick while I was in school, so I left college and moved back home to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to help support her through her illness. That's when I started working at Walmart.
After some time, I started to notice some things about the store. Our Walmart store was always understaffed, and my coworkers were always overworked and often disrespected by management. We all struggled to get by on poverty wages, no matter how hard we worked. It seemed like Walmart didn't appreciate or take pride in their associates.
A coworker told me about an informal group of workers who want respect at the Walmarts they work at, OUR Walmart. I studied up and eventually decided to join.
In June, Walmart shareholders met, and more than 100 OUR Walmart members like me wanted to send a clear message: We went on strike. During that time, I travelled to Walmart's headquarters and told my story. When I came home, I was fired. 
Walmart -- one of the three richest companies in the world -- is afraid of a few workers like me speaking up. We won't let them intimidate us into silence.
Thank you for having my back.
In solidarity,
Brandon Garrett
OUR Walmart member
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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