”She and other workers put tape over their mouths bearing the word STRIKE. It would now make accommodations for pregnant workers.Meanwhile, in Pico Rivera, hundreds of protesters sang the old labor anthem ”We Shall Not sliding bearing Be Moved. And they threatened to have us arrested.Before the complaint could be fully litigated, Walmart announced a change in policy. At that time, Walmart made no accommodations for pregnant workers.” Then, parodying Walmart’s slogan ”Pay Less, Live Better,” they sat down in traffic holding hand-lettered signs that read: ”Stand Up, Live Better. With the help of the National Women’s Law Center, Respect filed a complaint against Walmart with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The strikers held up pictures of the Woolworth sit-down strikers.
There was a quick shareholder backlash and dire predictions about how these wages would affect corporate profits..But the changes in policy were not enough to stop injuries on the job – even after the Supreme Court’s 2016 UPS decision ordering that company to make accommodations for pregnant workers.The price of protestingTo protest Walmart’s retaliations against activists, workers from 30 cities walked off their jobs in spring 2013, joining a Ride For Respect to Walmart corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. Green told me that the ”Respect Riders” were met by security and dogs.
Green reached out to other pregnant Walmart workers. She couldn’t afford to lose her paycheck. Respect is continuing to fight and to sue. They formed a group called Respect the Bump. Sit Down, Live Better. She was sitting on her living room couch in a neck brace when the call came telling her she’d been fired. In spring 2015, Walmart announced that it would be raising wages for 500,000 of its lowest-paid workers to $9 an hour by April 2015 and $10 an hour by 2016.
It was in November of 2014 that Barlage, Luna, Tyfani Faulkner and 25 others staged a sit-down strike, the first retail sit-down since Woolworth workers struck in 1937. The tape was meant to illustrate Walmart’s attempts to silence workers, Barlage and Luna told me. ”Corporate was freaking out. They felt they were making history. ”We just wanted to talk to our employers. ”We shut down the store for almost two hours,” Luna told me. Repeatedly asked to stock bulky, heavy items, she says she ended up with dangerous bone spurs in her throat, and had to take a leave.”At first, the pressure seemed to yield results. They charged violation of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act. That’s when she decided to join OUR Wal-Mart.Injured while lifting stock, Green saw no choice but to continue working