Walmart the focus of Global Action involving Canada and 9 other countries

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Toronto – December 14, 2012 (updated December 15, 2012) – Leading labour organizations from around the globe joined forces with community members on December 14 to make an important stand for change at Walmart by asking the retailer to start respecting the rights of its 2 million employees.

In Canada, representatives from the community and labour movement gathered at various Walmart locations – from Vancouver to Halifax – to have direct conversations with workers and shoppers about the need for change at the world’s largest retailer and third largest employer. The only entities who employ more people are the Chinese Army and the US Department of Defense.

In addition to the Canadian actions, similar actions also took place in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, India, Nicaragua, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zambia, all countries who recently came together for change at Walmart through the UNI Global Walmart Alliance. UNI is a global union that brings together over 900 trade unions representing more than 15 million members worldwide..

“The recent Black Friday strikes by Walmart workers across the United States are inspiring people in Canada – and around the globe – to join the fight for fairness and human rights, by taking action and telling Walmart to allow workers to organize and join a union without fear of retaliation, to pay living wages and provide decent working conditions, and to stop retaliating against workers who speak out for change,” says Wayne Hanley, the national president of Canada’s leading retail workers union, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Canada).

The Global Day of Action also called on Walmart to sign a Global Framework Agreement with UNI Global Union that guarantees Walmart workers’ rights around the world.

Other labour rights and social justice organizations who took part in the Global Day of Action for Change at Walmart include:

  • FAECYS (Argentina)
  • CUT, Forca Sindical and UGT (Brazil)
  • Sindicato Interpresa Lider and FENATRALID (Chile)
  • FUTATSCON (Nicaragua)
  • UFCW
  • OUR Walmart
  • SACCAWU (South Africa)
  • GMB (UK)
  • Hawkers Federation (India)

In addition to having direct conversations with shoppers about making change at Walmart, the Global Day of Action is also calling on workers, community members and consumers to post their support on Twitter (#walmartstrikers) and Tumblr (changewalmart.tumblr.com).

For the latest updates and images for the Canadian actions, go to www.facebook.com/ufcwcanada.