Richmond, Calif. - The following statement was issued today by Mary Kay Henry, president of the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union, as thousands of Walmart workers nationwide walked off the job with the support of their communities on Black Friday:
"Today's protests at Walmart stores across the country are a reminder of the enormous power of working people uniting to demand a better future with a living wage, affordable healthcare and respect on the job. From this day on, 'Black Friday' should be remembered as a pivotal day for working people at Walmart and everywhere.
"I was proud to stand today with Walmart workers like Misty Tanner, clergy and community members in Richmond, California, who had the courage to call on Walmart to do right by its employees and treat them with respect. Despite being fired a month ago after standing up to her store manager, Misty Tanner stood up again today for other Walmart workers who are being intimidated, retaliated against, and who cannot make ends meet, despite their hard work.
"This Thanksgiving holiday, I am thankful for courageous working people at Walmart stores, airports and corporations everywhere who are rising up to demand a living wage with benefits, respect, and a fair shot at the middle class that every worker should have in the richest nation in the world. It is time for Walmart to take heed and stop putting profits ahead of the workers who are critical to their success as the largest retailer in the United States."