Other Group

Making Change at Walmart

Formation:

2011

Parent Organization:

United Food and Commercial Workers (UCFW)

Location:

Nationwide

Type:

Labor Campaign

Making Change at Walmart (MCAW) is a nationwide labor campaign that demands various benefits for employees and stakeholders of retail giant Walmart. It was created by the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UCFW) and counts among its coalition members union members, small business owners, feminist advocacy groups, community organizations, politicians, and private supporters. [1] The campaign calls for higher wages and more benefits for Walmart employees. [2]

Background

According to BadCredit, the campaign was launched in 2011 to advocate for higher wages and better working conditions for Walmart employees, in hopes not only to transform Walmart into a union-friendly company with expansive workers’ benefits but to cause a chain reaction in the retail industry that would have other companies follow suit. [3]

In 2018, Making Change at Walmart communications director Amy Ritter said, “Changing Walmart can change the retail industry as a whole […] Walmart, being the largest private employer in the country, sets the tone for one of the biggest industries for employment in the country.” [4]

Activities

Making Change at Walmart’s two major demands are for Walmart to pay its workers higher wages and offer them affordable healthcare benefits. It justifies its demands by claiming that Walmart is the richest company in history and arguing that it is thus obligated to provide more compensation to its employees than what is usually expected of companies. [5]

Making Change has performed educational outreach efforts to Walmart workers across the United States and has occasionally encouraged workers to organize with labor unions such as the United Food and Commercial Workers. Making Change claims that the Walmart corporation has fought back against their efforts through lawsuits and media “smear campaigns.” The campaign claims that Walmart has used its “arsenal of unlimited cash” to hire lobbyists to create legal loopholes for itself regarding taxes and financial commitments to communities. [6]

In 2016, when Walmart announced a plan to increase wages, MCAW criticized the proposed increases as falling short of its standard for what fair wages ought to be. It launched a series of campaigns and tours calling for improvements. [7]

From September to October 2017, MCAW led the “Trump and Walmart Make America Worse” college tour, which paid visits to 30 college campuses across the United States to establish a millennial and gen z cohort. Its campaign claimed president Donald Trump and Walmart were somehow related in their values, vaguely gesturing toward their alleged contempt for public schooling and high-paying jobs. [8]

Leadership

As of 2018, Amy Ritter was the communications director of Making Change at Walmart. [9]

Andrea Dehlendorf, the executive director of United for Respect, was the assistant director of Make Change at Walmart from February 2011 to May 2015. [10] She also co-founded WorkIt in January 2016, an organized labor group based in Oakland, California. [11]

References

  1. “Making Change @ Walmart.” The Action Network. Accessed 11 June 2022. https://actionnetwork.org/groups/making-change-walmart. ^
  2.  [1] “Making Change at Walmart.” UCFW324.org. Accessed 11 June 2022. https://ufcw324.org/about/campaigns/making-change-at-walmart/. ^
  3. “Making Change at Walmart: How Pushing for Better Pay and Benefits at One Retailer Can Improve the Entire Industry.” BadCredit.org, 17 October 2018. Accessed 11 June 2022. https://www.badcredit.org/news/making-change-at-walmart-pushes-for-improvements/. ^
  4. [1] “Making Change at Walmart: How Pushing for Better Pay and Benefits at One Retailer Can Improve the Entire Industry.” BadCredit.org, 17 October 2018. Accessed 11 June 2022. https://www.badcredit.org/news/making-change-at-walmart-pushes-for-improvements/. ^
  5. “Making Change at Walmart.” UCFW324.org. Accessed 11 June 2022. https://ufcw324.org/about/campaigns/making-change-at-walmart/. ^
  6. “Making Change at Walmart.” UCFW324.org. Accessed 11 June 2022. https://ufcw324.org/about/campaigns/making-change-at-walmart/. ^
  7.  “Making Change at Walmart: How Pushing for Better Pay and Benefits at One Retailer Can Improve the Entire Industry.” BadCredit.org, 17 October 2018. Accessed 11 June 2022. https://www.badcredit.org/news/making-change-at-walmart-pushes-for-improvements/. ^
  8. “Making Change at Walmart: How Pushing for Better Pay and Benefits at One Retailer Can Improve the Entire Industry.” BadCredit.org, 17 October 2018. Accessed 11 June 2022. https://www.badcredit.org/news/making-change-at-walmart-pushes-for-improvements/. ^
  9.  “Making Change at Walmart: How Pushing for Better Pay and Benefits at One Retailer Can Improve the Entire Industry.” BadCredit.org, 17 October 2018. Accessed 11 June 2022. https://www.badcredit.org/news/making-change-at-walmart-pushes-for-improvements/. ^
  10. “Andrea Dehlendorf – Executive Director.” United for Respect. Accessed 6 June 2022. https://united4respect.org/andrea-dehlendorf/. ^
  11. “Andrea Dehlendorf.” LinkedIn. Accessed 6 June 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrea-dehlendorf-262214a7. ^
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