The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Walmart Associates Call for Walmart Director Marissa Mayer to End Her Silence

At Nationwide Protests at 10 Yahoo Offices Across the Country, Walmart Workers Call on Mayer to Help Change Walmart


At Yahoo offices in ten cities nationwide, Walmart workers and community supporters gathered to publicly call on Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to end her silence as Walmart faces criticism over its widespread violations of labor law. Walmart workers and recently fired Walmart Associates asked Mayer to call on Walmart CEO Mike Duke to reinstate workers who were fired in retaliation for standing up for better jobs and asked her to help change Walmart or quit the Walmart Board of Directors. Protests took place in Boston; Burbank, California; Coral Gables, Florida; New York City; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington DC; Sacramento; Denver; Dallas/Fort Worth and Seattle.

Today's protests come a day before Yahoo's quarterly earnings call with investors and follow similar events at Yahoo's annual shareholders' meeting, where Walmart workers confronted Marissa Mayer. A day earlier, several Walmart workers and their supporters were arrested in a protest at Yahoo's headquarters in Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, major Dutch investor PGGM recently announced that they would no longer invest in the retailer due to concerns over the company's labor practices.

Workers raised growing concerns that Mayer and other members of Walmart's board have remained silent even as the company contends with widespread protests against its treatment of its workers, plummeting customer service ratings and weak store sales due to understaffing, and preventable tragedies in the supply chain.

"I worked at Walmart for years and never once was I disciplined until I started speaking out for a better living," said Barbara Andridge, a former Walmart Associate who was recently fired in retaliation for calling for Walmart to stop retaliating against those workers who speak out for improved working conditions at actions surrounding Walmart's annual shareholder meeting in June. "We're troubled that while Walmart is breaking the law, Marissa Mayer is not fulfilling her role as an independent Director. Yahoo employees may wonder whether Mayer is brining Walmart values to Yahoo or Yahoo values to Walmart."

In early June, Walmart workers went on strike nationwide and traveled to Walmart's annual shareholder meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas, to call on the company's Board of Directors and shareholders to end the silencing of workers who speak out and voice the direct impact that Walmart's low wages and insufficient hours and benefits are having on the economy. With this message widely resonating, workers assert that the company feels threatened and has doubled down on its suppression of associates. In the past few weeks alone, Walmart has illegally fired 20 workers and disciplined 39 more for taking part in the legally protected strike.

This isn't the first time Walmart has tried to bully workers. According to a white paper recently released by American Rights at Work, Walmart associates who have come together to address concerns about working conditions have increasingly faced harassment, threats, changes to their jobs, and retaliatory discipline--including termination--for speaking out.

OUR Walmart works to ensure that every Associate, regardless of his or her title, age, race, or sex, is respected at Walmart. We join together to offer strength and support in addressing the challenges that arise in our stores and our company everyday.