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UFCW: 'LGBT workers in Florida and supporters to join nationwide protests for better jobs'

DSC_0056-300x200Three LGBT workers in Florida will protest Walmart on Friday morning, according to the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union.

From Jorge Amaro of UFCW:

Walmart workers throughout the nation are taking part in protests this Black Friday calling on the retail giant to treat is workers with respect and end its poverty wages.

An untold story in this struggle is that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers are leaders in the effort to make change at Walmart. Among them include Florida’s own:

- Marie Roberty (Hialeah) is a single hardworking Lesbian mother who is standing up against Walmart’s unfair labor practices. Marie was illegally fired from Walmart for standing up, speaking out, and going on strike

- Michael Randall (Merritt Island) has worked at Walmart for 15 years though because of the Walmart poverty wages he is struggling to make ends meet. He standing up against Walmart because he feels that all workers, including LGBT workers, should be paid a fair wage.

- Rafael Moreno (Miami Gardens) is in a long term relationship with his partner of 7 years. Rafael has worked at Walmart for 4 years and believes that no one should ever be retaliated against Walmart for speaking out for change.

Additionally, Walmart—the nation’s largest private employer—has consistently scored poorly in the Human Rights Campaign’s corporate index score card on workplaces for LGBT people.

Here's the complete news release about Friday's protests:

MIAMI WALMART WORKERS, SUPPORTERS TO JOIN NATIONWIDE PROTESTS FOR BETTER JOBS

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Workers and Community Organizations Call for Walmart to Publicly Commit to Paying $25,000 a Year, Providing Full-Time Work

Miami, Florida – In one of the largest mobilizations of working families in recent history, Walmart workers and supporters in Miami will join thousands nationwide in their calls for Walmart to improve jobs and the economy.   Pointing to poverty wages that have forced Walmart workers to rely on food drives even though they work at a company with $17 billion in profits, the protesters are calling on Walmart to publicly commit to paying $25,000 a year, providing full-time work, and ending the retaliation against workers who have been speaking out for better jobs. 

Community groups and Miami workers will protest at the North Miami Walmart store on 1425 NE 163 Street. Workers and supporters have been emboldened by news from Walmart CEO that hundreds of thousands of Walmart workers are paid less than $25,000 a year and are forced to rely on taxpayer dollars to support their families.  

“The support we’ve seen in the lead up to Black Friday is overwhelming,” said Katie Cunningham, a Walmart employee who plans on protesting this Black Friday. “Walmart can improve jobs – and it must.  We are standing together to tell the Walton family and Walmart that our country needs more from our largest employer.”

WHAT: Walmart Black Friday Protest Against Illegal Retaliation, Low Pay

WHO:   Miami Walmart workers and community supporters

WHERE: 1425 NE 163 St., North Miami, Florida 33162

WHEN: Friday, November 29 at 9 a.m.

Nationwide protests on Black Friday follow revelations last week that Walmart workers don’t have enough money to cover Thanksgiving dinner for their families, as well as the historic federal government finding that Walmart has been violating workers’ rights nationwide. Inspired by actions in recent weeks, including the largest-ever civil disobedience against the retail giant in Los Angeles; strikes in Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Ohio and Dallas; an online petition to President Obama and new web portal where associates can request protests at their stores, workers say they can no longer wait to demand an end to illegal retaliation and better pay.

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