Skip to main content

The Stakes Have Never Been Higher.

In the face of existential emergencies to humanity, Common Dreams is facing other potentially fatal threats to our funding model. Please support our nonprofit journalism and help us reach our $75,000 Mid-Year Campaign goal.

'Normal' is killing us.

Donald Trump is out of the White House. COVID-19 is fading, at least in wealthier nations. The world, they say, is returning to “normal.” That’s the narrative that the corporate media is selling. But there’s a problem: “normal” is destroying our planet, threatening our democracies, concentrating massive wealth in a tiny elite, and leaving billions of people without access to life-saving vaccines amid a deadly pandemic. Here at Common Dreams, we refuse to accept any of this as “normal.” Common Dreams just launched our Mid-Year Campaign to make sure we have the funding we need to keep the progressive, independent journalism of Common Dreams alive. Whatever you can afford—no amount is too large or too small—please donate today to support our nonprofit, people-powered journalism and help us meet our goal.

Please select a donation method:

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Pickets, strikes, and protests are slated to sweep across the United States on Black Friday. (Photo: TwitPic/@WorkingAmerica)

'No One Else Is Going to Stand Up For Us': Workers Target Walmart on Black Friday

'For all of my brothers and sisters who have experienced illegal threats, I am on strike.'

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

This Black Friday could be Walmart's biggest yet.

As the annual shopping bonanza commences, Walmart will be hit with what is likely to be the largest nation-wide strike in the company's history, as workers demand the right to organize, full employment, and a living wage of $15 an and hour—and remind shoppers and employers that many of the company's associates can't afford enough to eat this holiday season.

Pickets, strikes, and protests are slated to sweep 1,600 stores across the United States on Friday, with tens of thousands of Walmart workers and supporters pledging to take part. Some major metropolitan areas, from Chicago to Los Angeles, are expected to draw large crowds of protesters. Walk-outs and workplace actions already began earlier this week in numerous cities, including a sit-down protest at a Washington-DC store on Wednesday.

"Many of us are living in deep poverty and going hungry because the Waltons won’t pay us a fair wage," said Sandra Sok, a Phoenix-based Walmart worker who walked off the job on Wednesday. "When my coworkers speak out about these issues, the company tries to silence us. For all of my brothers and sisters who have experienced illegal threats, I am on strike."

"If we don't stand up, no one else is going to stand up for us," declared Charles Brown, a member of OUR Walmart who unloads trucks at a Virginia store.

Reports and commentary on the strikes and demonstrations, organized by the labor-backed group OUR Walmart, will be posted on Twitter throughout the day:

People across the United States are invited to go to Walmart locations to show their support:

A broad cross-section of social justice groups have heeded the call for solidarity, including a coalition of 226 feminist, racial justice, immigrant rights, and environmental organizations that penned a letter last week to Rob Walton, Chairman of Walmart's Board of Directors, demanding the company "commit to giving workers a fair shot." Furthermore, a petition condemning the Waltons for "robbing America" and vowing "massive protests nationwide" has so far garnered over 80,000 signatures.

Like the fast food worker strikes and protests that have swept the United States in recent years, the growing Walmart actions are aimed at exposing the role of Walmart, the largest private employer in the country, in driving down wages and working conditions across the U.S. and world.

"The Black Friday rallies and demonstrations represent a dramatic escalation of the growing protest movement among employees of America's largest private employer," writes Peter Dreier. "But they also represent the vanguard of a sharp challenge to the nation's widening economic divide and the declining standard of living  among the majority of Americans."

Critics charge that Walmart's spreads harm to workers as well as the planet. In Richmond, California, 30 sponsoring climate justice and environmental groups on Friday will "rope off" a Walmart store and declare it a climate crime scene, to draw attention to the company's poor environmental track record.

"Walmart has tried to salvage their tarnished reputation through greenwashing," reads a statement from the groups, which include Movement Generation and the Asian-Pacific Environmental Network. "But no amount of rooftop solar or energy efficient refrigerators can conceal the fact that Walmart is one of the planet’s worst climate criminals. Walmart’s business model—worker exploitation, intensive resource extraction, globalized production and distribution, rampant consumerism, ruthless supplier competition, and subversion of our democracy—is at war with life on Earth."

Workers are striking for full-time and living wage work, as well as the right to organize in their workplaces. (Image on left by Olivia Hernandez. Image on right by Julio Salgado)

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Support progressive journalism.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Progressives Alarmed by Privatization Dub Infrastructure Deal a 'Disaster in the Making'

"Communities across the country have been ripped off by public-private schemes that enrich corporations and Wall Street investors and leave the rest of us to pick up the tab."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


'We Must Not Stand Down': 270+ Arrested at Anti-Logging Protests in Canada

A battle over old-growth forests is raging in British Columbia.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·


US Lawmakers Demand EU 'Do the Right Thing or Get Out of the Way' on Covid-19 Vaccine Patent Waivers

"A global recovery requires a global response based on health needs—not Big Pharma," said Congressman Jesús "Chuy" García at a rally.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


'Horrible and Unconscionable Betrayal': Biden DOJ Backs Trump Line 3 Approval

"You are siding with a handful of corrupt corporate elites over honoring treaty rights, climate, water, and the future of life on Earth."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


'We Can't Wait': Thousands in DC Demand Bold Action on Climate, Immigration, and Jobs

"All of us have got to stand together and tell the billionaire class that our time is now," said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·