On November 23, 2012 – BLACK FRIDAY – Walmart workers and supporters around the country took to the streets – or, more accurately, parking lots – at Walmart stores as part of a nationwide campaign for respect, a living wage, and better working conditions. The Black Friday protests were called for as the next step in a Walmart worker uprising that began in Los Angeles back in October. While Walmart attempted to play down the effect of the Black Friday strikes and protests, the first-ever strikes and then viral expansion of worker actions at Walmart stores around the country marks a turning point in the fight for a living wage and a new kind of economy. This past week, fast-food workers in New York City walked off the job in their fight for a living wage. This time workers organized across the industry, going on strike against McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and other fast food chains at the same time. What began with Walmart workers is resonating with workers across the entire service industry. We are sure to see more actions in the weeks and months to come.
On Black Friday, Raging Chicken Press joined a couple dozen activists at Walmart Supercenter at 1091 Millcreek Rd, Allentown, PA in solidarity with the nationwide actions. I had the opportunity to talk with Maria Rohaly, one of the organizers of the event, and Paul Lippi, an 18-year Walmart employee about the days actions and what brought them out into the streets in support of Walmart workers. You can hear both interviews here:
“Solidarity with Walmart workers who have called for a nationwide strike on Black Friday”
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Kevin Mahoney is the Founder and Editor Zero of Raging Chicken Press. When he’s not rabble-rousing on Raging Chicken, he’s teaching rhetoric and writing at Kutztown University.
Tags: alternative press, Black Friday, interview, living wage, Maria Rohaly, OUR Walmart, Paul Lippi, pennsylvania, protest, protests, raging chicken, raging chicken press, RCPress Interview, social movement, strike, union, Walmart, Walmart Workers