Black Friday Actions

Joint Black Friday Action with Striking Walmart Workers and Retail Cleaning Workers

Over 250 people braved the cold for a joint Black Friday action with striking Walmart workers and retail cleaning workers. The day started with a constantly growing picket in front of the Walmart in St. Paul; from there, folks joined retail cleaning workers who work for companies that clean stores in the Twin Cities for some political theater across the street from Sears near the Capital, calling on Sears to contract with responsible cleaning contractors. See below for pictures.

Picket line in front of Walmart

In front of Walmart, with striking Walmart worker Gabe Teneyuque, and former retail cleaning worker Mario Colloly rallying the crowd:

Around 100 people then joined CTUL and retail cleaning workers for some political theater across the street from Sears near the Capital, calling on Sears to contract with responsible cleaning contractors:

A gentleman who looked like Edward Lampert, Chairman of Sears Holding Corp, stood across the street from the group.

(According to Huffingtonpost, Mr. Lampert recently bought a $40 million home on a private island of Florida; at the same time, a Diversified Maintenance employee who cleans a Kmart store in the Twin Cities has been homeless because he does not earn enough -Kmart is part of Sears Holding Corp)

A delegation then delivered a letter to Sears.

(The letter points out that Sears contracts with Diversified Maintenance to clean stores in the Twin Cities, and goes on to name violations of workers’ rights that have allegedly taken place at Diversified over the past ten years, including 87 violations of federal minimum wage and/or overtime laws, 44 exposed OSHA violations, etc.)

Two security officers said they were bringing the letter to the manager.

In addition to enjoying an alternative to the traditional Black Friday, we also raised a lot of awareness about the working conditions both at Walmart and in contracted out retail cleaning work, with lots of press coverage.

Click here for a list of press coverage of the day.