Walmart Strike: Why the Black Friday Labor Protests Were an Epic Failure


Across the country, a small minority of Wal-Mart workers staged a strike in Black Friday. According to CNN, total Wal-Mart employee participation in the protests numbered only in the hundreds although total protesters numbered in the thousands.  The vast majority of the protesters simply were not Wal-Mart employees. According to Wal-Mart, employee absenteeism this Black Friday declined by 60% versus last year. This illustrates how little support exists for unionization at Wal-Mart. Overall, the so-called strike proved a stunning failure.

Just how infinitesimally miniscule was the turnout for these protests? Consider Wal-Mart employs 2.2 million people in the United States. Protests occurred at only 26 locations Thursday evening. Protests affected less than 1% of the more than 4,200 Wal-Mart stores. At one location in Texas, only 5 of the 60 protesters were even employees. At a protest in Los Angeles, even OUR Wal-Mart admits only 5% of the 1,000 protesters are employed by Wal-Mart. Considering the 50 Wal-Mart employees who walked off the job came from nine stores across the LA area, it’s safe to say that less than 1% of the thousands employed in these stores walked off the job.  

And what exactly is OUR Wal-Mart? While it claims to be an organization set up on behalf of Wal-Mart employees, is really more of a front group for the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). In fact, UFCW funds Our Wal-Mart. The support for this “grassroots” unionization effort is quite underwhelming, as evidenced by the fewer than 20,000 fans on its official Facebook page. Considering how union bosses just caused Hostess to declare bankruptcy, resulting in up to 18,000 jobs being loss, no one should be surprised at the very limited support the UFCW receives from Wal-Mart employees.

Union bosses crave the enormous sums of money collected through mandatory monthly union dues. These dues for UFCW often range between $19-$60 per month per member. Even at just $19 per month, the revenue possibilities for the UFCW would total approximately more than $450 million each year. Of course, the union bosses are salivating at this enormous quantity of money supplied by the “99%” they claim to represent. These same union bosses also oppose the rights of the employees to cast a secret ballot when determining unionization and also oppose the rights of employees to refrain from joining a union already in existence.

While the UFCW failed in its Black Friday Wal-Mart strike efforts, employees should be vigilant against the deceptive tactics used by union bosses to further expand their power and guarantee their lavish lifestyles. That less than 1% of Wal-Mart stores were affected by protests and fewer than 1 in 1,000 employees participated in the walkouts shows that the union bosses are failing in their efforts to unionize Wal-Mart.