Target: Walmart CEO Carl Douglas McMillon
Goal: Reinstate woman who was suddenly fired after advocating for increased wages and worker rights.
A union advocate is claiming that she was fired suddenly for no apparent reason after she was disciplined for wearing a pro-union pin to work. Mary Watkines, an African American woman and founder of OUR Walmart in Washington State, has been an employee at Walmart for many years and a worker rights advocate for much of that time. She gave a presentation about income inequality at the Walmart Shareholder meeting in Bentonville this year and has been fighting for an increase in the state minimum wage.
Then, out of nowhere, she was allegedly taken off the sales floor and told that the decision had come from “above” to fire her. This is not the first time this has happened to Watkines, but the activist community came together to help her get her job back.
Considering how hostile Walmart has been to union activity in the past and the fact that there doesn’t appear to be any other reason for her firing, it seems very likely that Watkines was fired for her efforts to help minimum wage workers gain their right to a living wage and basic benefits–both of which would cost Walmart money in the short term. Sign our petition to demand Walmart rehire this woman and stop illegally harassing her for being a union advocate.
Dear Mr. McMillon,
I understand that a Walmart employee named Mary Watkines was recently and suddenly fired from her job. Ms. Watkines is a founder of the Washington State OUR Walmart organization and has been fighting for years to get herself and fellow low-level store employees a living wage and reasonable benefits. Due to this and the fact that Walmart has a history of being hostile toward union activity, many people suspect that she was fired for being a union leader. This is unacceptable.
Whether you like it or not, workers have the right to organize and make demands of management. Walmart, as the company, does not have the right to punish workers for doing so. I and all the other people in the country who support worker rights will not tolerate it.
Watkines has been working for you for many years and has done her job well. When she was fired, she was not given any reason for it other than that the decision came from “above.” Unless there’s a real, valid reason for her dismissal, you must immediately rehire her and stop targeting her for unfair punishment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sven