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LOCAL News :: Labor

Workers Don't Want To Be Left Out In The Cold

You can count on dedicated labor, peace and justice activists to do whatever it takes to call attention to the workers’ plight and the Wal-Mart blight. Artic-like weather with 20-40 mile per hour wind gusts and sub-zero wind-chill index did not did not deter the 125 protestors Saturday, January 22, who chanted and carried signs protesting Wal-Mart’s business practices of low wages for workers and loss of jobs to overseas manufacturing for cheap labor, often provided by children.
Wal-Mart Always Hurts People, Communities and Democracy was the theme of the rally organized by Reclaim Democracy/KC on noon Saturday at 12th and Central outside Bartle Hall where the annual Wal-Mart Manager’s Convention was being held. Yellow ‘Smiley’ faces, an advertising gimmick used by Wal-Mart, were abundant with one major difference---the faces were frowning.

Mary Lindsay, an organizer of Reclaim Democracy/KC introduced Judy Ancel, The Institute for Labor Studies, who called for solidarity in holding Wal-Mart accountable. Other speakers were Mike Lewis, a Deacon at St Patrick’s Church, Dan Johnson, Teamsters Local 41, Gary Kemp, Greater Kansas City Building Trades, and Dr. Ron Faust from Disciples Peace Fellowship. Speakers addressed Wal-Mart's transgressions: lower wages, lack of benefits, discrimination against women, loss of manufacturing jobs to overseas production for lower labor cost needed to sell to Wal-Mart and the devastation of small towns in America when Wal-Mart moves in along increased taxes in the form of TIF financing (corporate welfare) for locating in an area. More about Wal-Mart at www.ReclaimDemocracy.org/Walmart

Dan Johnson, from Teamsters Local 41 and Greater Kansas City Coalition for Worker Justice, whose members are largely in labor and religion, said there were over 80 union members present from UAW, Teamsters Local 41 and 541, IBEW, Amalgamated Transport, Firefighters Local 42 and UFCW – United Food and Clerical Workers who have been working to organize Wal-Mart workers. Union members from Wichita, Springfield and Omaha were present too. Some of the other groups represented were Cross Border Network, Iraq Task Force, Kansas National Organization for Women and PeaceWorks.

Please join us at the next rally, Monday, January 31 at 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm at 13th and Broadway during drive time. Signs will be available or bring your own message and the weather forecast looks more favorable so. . .

Let's turn up the heat on Wal-Mart!

For more info go to www.reclaimdemocracy/kc.org
 
 

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