October 10, 2012
Washington, DC--The following statement may be attributed to National Consumers League Executive Director Sally Greenberg:
"I want to applaud the courage of these workers who are protesting conditions and Walmart's retaliation against workers who speak out about conditions. This is not easy for them to do. These are good workers, people who like their jobs and need their jobs, and they have a right to engage in constructive dialogue with the company. But instead of listening, Walmart is punishing employees by cutting their schedules or not giving them a schedule. America is better than this, and Walmart – the world’s biggest retailer and employer - should be better than this. it’s a shame the workers have to go on strike to get basic benefits.
"In America, workers should not be forced to go on strike to protect their most basic rights to free speech and to come together with a collective voice. Our city and our country need big profitable corporations like Walmart and billionaires like the Waltons to stop squeezing the middle class to the breaking point. Walmart is incredibly profitable - $16 billion. They can and should share more fairly their amazing success with the people that make it possible for them to earn these profits every day – that means liveable wages, decent benefits, family friend policies, including scheduling flexibility and stop asking employees to go on public assistance because the pay and benefits are so low."
In March 2012, NCL commissioned a consumer survey that gauged attitudes on labor and businesses that use inhumane working conditions in the manufacturing of their products. With 1,019 adult American consumers surveyed, the results revealed that:
- 91 percent of consumers agree that it is important or very important that the stores they shop in and the restaurants they eat in pay their workers fairly
- 93 percent of consumers believe that employers who cheat their employees out of the wages they have earned should be fined or punished in some way
- 87 percent of consumers agree that it is important or very important that the products they buy are not made under unfair, overly harsh, and dangerous working conditions
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.