July 31, 2013
By Neal Tepel
Walmart continues to silence employees that speak out about Walmart's policies of intimidation and those that call for better working conditions at the company. Now Walmart associates and their supporters are fighting back with an unprecedented wave of actions on the ground and online. At the same time, warehouse workers in California have gone on strike to protest the intimidation they have experienced since they exposed dangerous and unsafe working conditions at a Walmart-contracted warehouse in Riverside County.
With calls nationwide for improved working conditions at Walmart, the company feels threatened and has doubled down on its suppression of associates. Recently Walmart has illegally fired 19 workers and disciplined 40 more for taking part in demonstrations against the company.
“We fear that every day we go to work could be our last,” said Heidi Baizabal, who has worked at a warehouse in California for five years. “We are followed, watched on camera, forced into individual meetings, and harassed daily. ”
This isn’t the first time Walmart has tried to bully workers. According to a recently released report by American Rights at Work, Walmart associates who come together to address concerns about working conditions face harassment, threats, changes to their jobs, and retaliatory discipline—including termination—for speaking out.