Protesters call on Walmart to stop targeting workers organizing for change

Members of OUR Walmart Minnesota and their supporters demonstrate outside the retailer's Midway location.

Members of OUR Walmart Minnesota and their supporters demonstrate outside the retailer’s Midway location.

Gabriel Teneyuque was among 130 Walmart workers who went on strike in June. Sixty of the workers he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with during that strike have been fired or targeted for discipline by the company for speaking out.

Yesterday, standing before a crowd of 50-plus protesters gathered outside the Midway Walmart in St. Paul, Teneyuque explained why he would continue speaking out despite the risks.

Tara Davunt works at the Walmart Supercenter in Hermantown. She is in her second stint with the company, and this time around, she said, “I set out to make a change.”

Tara Davunt works at the Walmart Supercenter in Hermantown. She is in her second stint with the company, and this time around, she said, “I set out to make a change.”

“I put in a hard day’s work. I take pride in my area. And like many other associates, I am still part time, and I make poverty wages,” said Teneyuque, an associate in Walmart’s Apple Valley store.

“We should never feel threatened. We should never have to wonder where our next meal is coming from – especially at the world’s largest employer. I’m speaking up today so we can all live better.”

The demonstration in St. Paul was one of more than 15 staged nationwide by members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart). Members of the group say they have seen an aggressive uptick in illegal retaliation against workers who speak out for better jobs at Walmart.

“OUR Walmart Minnesota is standing with workers and their supporters across this Minnesota to demand that Walmart’s Board of Directors put a stop to the company’s illegal firings and attempts to silence workers’ voices, and publicly commit to respect their freedom to speak out for better wages, safer work environments, and respect on the job,” the group said in a statement.

Diana Tastad, an organizer with OUR Walmart Minnesota, said the nationwide demonstrations had already produced positive results. Walmart, she said, had agreed to reinstate two of the fired workers.

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Comments

  1. Edward Dijeau says:

    I took my protest across the street to TARGET and spent my money there rather than at Wal Mart. The power of the Boycott is like the power to STRIKE. Economic Action is the POWER we all have. USE IT.

    • Thank you Edward!

      Boycotting is a very powerful tool to voice your disapproval. It is usually more successful than the voice of Walmart employees. because walmart does have the power to fire employees, or finding other ways to intimidated its workers–no matter how wrong, or illegal it is for them to do so. It can persuade you to shop at Walmart, but it cannot force you to do so.

      Former/Current Walmart associate,
      Thanks for standing with us!

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