November 17, 2014
By Stephanie West
Los Angeles, California – Twenty-eight striking Walmart workers were arrested outside a Walmart store in Los Angeles on November 13th. The group called on the Waltons to pay $15 an hour minimum to workers. The group was joined by hundreds of Californians who rallied outside the store in Pico Rivera, the site of the first Walmart strikes in 2012. .
Many believe America’s largest employer and richest family are driving the income inequality problems that are holding the country back. Even as Walmart brings in $16 billion in annual profits and Walmart’s owners build on their $150 billion in wealth, the majority of Walmart workers are paid less than $25,000 a year.
“Walmart and the Waltons continue to build their riches while workers are threatened for calling for more hours,” said worker Venanzi Luna who was arrested during the demonstration. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to tell Walmart and the Waltons its days of poverty pay that leave hard-working Americans hungry must end.”
“I’m sitting down on strike today to stand up for my coworkers who have faced illegal threats while calling for better jobs,” said Salomon Fuentes, a Walmart worker who went on strike November 13 and works at store #2401 in Duarte, California. “I won’t let Walmart silence my coworkers anymore who just want $15 an hour and full-time work so they can support their families.”
Workers at more than 2,100 Walmart stores nationwide have signed a petition calling on Walmart and the Waltons to commit to paying $15 an hour and providing consistent, full-time hours. A growing number of Americans say Walmart and its owners are robbing workers of a decent living by paying the majority of workers less than $25,000 a year. The Walton family, which controls the Walmart empire, is the richest family in the U.S.—with the wealth of 43% of American families combined. The Walton family takes in $8.6 million a day in Walmart dividends alone to build on its $150 billion in wealth. Walmart brings in $16 billion in annual profits.