How many media outlets in the United States reported that last month, December 2014, 12,000 Chilean Walmart workers went on strike? Yes, you read me correctly: twelve thousand of them. Did any of you hear about this from CNN, Fox, NBC, ABC, The New York Times, anywhere in the media?
Look, I get it that Howard Stern’s speech at Joan Rivers funeral was a truly compelling story, and I would never, ever dare to suggest that we all shouldn’t hear about it repeatedly across multiple media outlets for days on end, but given that something like 1.4 million Americans work at Walmart for poverty wages, unaffordable health insurance, and under sub-optimal working conditions like unpredictable scheduling and a restrictive sick leave policy that disproportionately punishes single mothers with sick children, one would think that the story of 12,000 Walmart workers on strike would be able to get some legs. I’m no newsroom editor, but, well, just sayin’.
Of further interest, I should think, is that Chilean Walmart workers are represented by 70 different unions. What? Walmart workers in Chile are represented by unions? Wow, that’s news to me. And I bet it would be news to 1.4 million American Walmart workers and their families too.
Making Change at Walmart is a community allies campaign to support American Walmart workers demands for $15.00 an hour and full time work for employees who want it. They’re circulating an online petition calling for good people everywhere to sign on.
And given that the five members of the Walton family are collectively worth a truly staggering and absolutely mind blowing 152 billion, let me repeat that, ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY TWO BILLION DOLLARS, a living wage at full time hours seems like an eminently more than reasonable demand.
So please sign the petition and then send it to everyone you know via email, facebook, twitter, etc. Spread the good news because, apparently, our media won’t.