September 23, 2015
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel
A restructured Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) re-launched itself Sept. 17, planning to expand its backing from the United Food and Commercial Workers to a coalition of 20 organizations, such as the Working Families Party, Interfaith Workers Justice, Color of Change, and Jobs With Justice.
The four-year-old group will continue to seek a $15 an hour minimum wage and full-time, consistent hours for Walmart workers, and as before, will not try to have the company recognize it as a union. “The goal now is a worker-supported, sustainable organization of and for workers,” codirector Dan Schlademan told In These Times. That means, he said, relying mainly on workers’ self-organization than on staff, learning from other non-union worker organizations such the Restaurant Opportunities Center and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and defending leaders fired by Walmart. “It’s a worker-led organization,” said Cynthia Murray, an OUR Walmart activist at the store in Laurel, Md. “It’s the voice of workers inside the company—of and for the workers.” Read more