99 Pickets

NYC Worker Solidarity

On Black Friday, Occupy Wall Street, 99 Pickets and Allies Set Sights on Walmart, in Support of Striking Workers

11/20/2012

For Immediate Release
11/20/2012

Press contact: 99pickets@gmail.com, (917) 725-1436
Location: Secaucus Walmart , 400 Park Pl, Secaucus, NJ 07094
Date/time: Friday Nov. 23, 12:30pm (smaller action at 5am)
Event info: http://99pickets.org/picket/wall-street-to-walmart/
Press release PDF: http://bit.ly/TWbn7u
[en Español]

On Black Friday, Occupy Wall Street, 99 Pickets and Allies Set Sights on Walmart, in Support of Striking Workers

On Friday, November 23, Occupy Wall Street, 99 Pickets, the Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN), Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, Retail Action Project (RAP), Occupy Bergen County and community allies plan to take “Wall Street to Walmart”, in a multi-faceted protest occurring at a Walmart store in Secaucus, NJ. The Occupy protest is one of over a thousand set to occur at Walmart stores around the country on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.

After an unprecedented series of Walmart retail and affiliated warehouse strikes in the last two months, thousands of Walmart workers are threatening to strike on Black Friday unless Walmart begins following U.S. labor law.

Employees allege that Walmart has repeatedly retaliated against workers employing collective action, restricted workers’ freedom of speech, paid disproportionately low wages, forced employees to subsist on part-time work, and provided few or no benefits.

Planners of the Occupy event, dubbed “Wall Street to Walmart: Occupy Black Friday”, say the Secaucus NJ action is in solidarity with the striking workers. “We’re going to Secaucus in support of the courageous workers striking at Walmart stores around the country,” said 99 Pickets activist Michelle Flores. She continued, “It won’t be ‘business as usual’ this year at Walmart.”

On Thursday, members of the Occupy community are having Thanksgiving Dinner in Zuccotti Park, site of the original Occupy Wall Street encampment. Organizers plan to send out meals to those in need throughout the region, including Walmart workers themselves. “People’s Kitchen” chef Ethan Murphy writes, “in the spirit of giving thanks and mutual aid… we will deliver a gift basket of goodies to Walmart workers who will be forced to work on Thanksgiving.” This year, Walmart is requiring workers to start work as early as 2pm on the national holiday, holding its first “Walmart sales event” at 8pm.

On Black Friday, OWS activists say they will stage an early morning action, followed by a larger midday event at 12:30pm, when they will “clog the checkout lines, take over the store with shopping carts, sing songs, picket the store, and disrupt Walmart’s business,” adding that they have a “fun and safe Occupy the Parking Spaces action planned.”

99 Pickets, one of the Occupy groups helping organize the Walmart actions, will carry out “on-the-ground solidarity training” for Friday’s actions. On their website, they call for 30 people to “clog the lines with sacks of pennies and dimes” on Wednesday Nov. 21, at a Brooklyn grocery store where workers have led an organizing campaign and community boycott in response to wage theft, mistreatment and retaliation.

About 99 Pickets
99 Pickets, a working group from Occupy Wall Street, seeks to build a mass worker’s movement in New York City and beyond. Revitalizing the picket line—a tactic with a long and rich history—the group uses worker-driven, creative action to draw attention to the common struggles of people across the city.

From wage theft, discrimination, abusive employers, food justice, misclassification, exploitive working conditions, retaliation for organizing, to unsafe workplaces, 99 Pickets strives to connect the dots between seemingly isolated conflicts, building a community and a movement to counter the 1%.

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