At the most recent General Membership Meeting for the GEO, members voted in favor of sending a resolution of support (attached below) to the striking Walmart Warehouse Workers in Elwood, IL who recently walked out of the warehouse due to intimidation and retaliation after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the workers by the group Warehouse Workers for Justice (part of the United Electrical Workers). The lawsuit was filed due to non-payment of wages and overtime, in addition to being paid below minimum wage. After the lawsuit was filed, supervisors told the workers they were suspended. You can find out more information about the strike here: http://www.indypendent.org/2012/09/21/walking-out-wal-mart
Why is this important and what can you do to support them? Although this particular warehouse is run by a contractor, it still provides services for the Walmart Corporation, which is one of the largest, most notoriously anti-union companies in the United States. With the support of fellow labor unions, the warehouse workers have a chance to successfully address their issues with the company and win a major victory for organized labor, especially in the face of such a gigantic company. On October 1st, join the Warehouse Workers in Elwood, IL for a solidarity action at their work location. There is transportation from Chicago; buses are leaving at 12 noon from Workers United union hall at 333 S. Ashland which is closest to the blue line. They will return back to Chicago around 6pm. Email email@example.com or call 269-873-1000 to reserve a spot.
You can also sign their petition, calling for proper compensation for their work: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/7209/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=11679
Interested in helping the GEO decide on solidarity resolutions or have questions? Email Jes Cook, our outreach chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to check out events and other items on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/uicgeo
Support Resolution for the Warehouse Workers for Justice
September 27, 2012
The University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Employees Organization (UIC GEO, IFT/AFT Local 6297, AFL-CIO), the union of 1400 Teaching and Graduate Assistants at UIC, supports the workers at the Walmart Distribution Center in Elwood, IL who are on strike to protest illegal retaliation, wage theft, discrimination, and dangerous working conditions. As such, we resolve that the leadership and members of the UIC GEO will support these workers by endorsing and attending solidarity actions, signing related petitions and making calls on industry leaders and lawmakers as needed by the workers. Furthermore, we call on CEO Michael Duke of Walmart to ensure that:
· Workers receive a living wage and are paid for all hours worked in accordance with the law;
· Workers have consistent, regular work schedules in order to care for their families;
· Workers have a safe workplace with better training and safety equipment;
· There is an immediate end to all intimidation and illegal retaliation against workers for exercising their rights.
The Members of UIC GEO, IFT/AFT Local 6297, AFL-CIO