Walmart has fired five workers who went on strike and traveled to Arkansas to protest the company earlier this month at the annual shareholders' meeting.
The five workers were part of the retail workers’ group "OUR Walmart," which staged a seven-day strike followed by a trip to Walmart's June 7 shareholder meeting at the company's headquarters.
In addition to the five firings, 10 Walmart employees have received disciplinary “coachings,” and one has been suspended.
Walmart told The Nation: “We are applying the attendance policy to individual absences in the same way we do for other associates. There were other associates who participated in these recent union activities [and] did not receive any discipline because their absence in the individual circumstances did not trigger our attendance rules.”
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Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., called the firings "unjust."
“One, they are to be expected," Ellison said. "Two, they are completely unjust and illegal. Power concedes nothing without a demand, and if these CEOs at these big companies are reaping ultra-profits out of the hard labor of these workers, they’re not about to give it up easily. So you’re going to have these retaliatory measures."
One of the fired Walmart workers is Lisa Lopez (pictured), who also appeared in a video campaign (below) about working at a Walmart in Orlando, Fla., living on food stamps and working a second job to support her family.
Lopez told The Nation that Walmart management announced on Friday she was being terminated for bringing a Walmart policy book into the deli area where she works on May 23.
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Lopez said she had received two previous disciplinary “coachings.” One violation was for wearing earrings, which Lopez said was a new policy and a fellow employee was allowed to wear earrings, and for not finishing her assigned work on her shift, but Lopez said the store was understaffed that day.
Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., condemned the firing of Lopez, saying “it’s ridiculous that Walmart would fire an employee for bringing Walmart’s own rule book to the job. Whom do they think they are fooling? Would Walmart fire me for bringing the Constitution to work?”
Source: The Nation