Watch: Union Supporters Confront Walmart in San Leandro

Thanksgiving night demonstration at a store on Hesperian Blvd is part of a nationwide push to unionize the chain.


Shoppers threaded metal barricades outside the Walmart store on Hesperian Boulevard Thanksgiving night as disgruntled workers and union supporters staged one in a series of nationwide actions aimed at winning union recognition for Walmart workers.

The demonstrators numbered a few dozen at best.

Shoppers seem largely unaware of the protest and most interested in finding shopping carts to wheel into the store.

The picketers, many wearing lime green shirts, handed out leaflets describing OUR Walmart -- an informal organization formed by current workers who want to form a union.

OUR Walmart is backed by the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, which represents workers at grocery chains like Safeway.

As Walmart gets into the grocery business with a new smaller store, the UFCW is worried that its non-union workforce will undercut the unionized chains.

Hence the organizing effort.

Dominic Ware, who works at the Walmart on Hesperian Boulevard, is a local organizer of the OUR Walmart movement. He was working Thursday night, rounding up shopping carts for customers, but he stepped away from his duties to join the picket line outside the store.

The 25-year-old Oakland resident told Patch that the main issue workers have is with irregular hours and shift changes that make it difficult for them to plan their time or budgets. Ware, who took part in the national organizing meeting that planned the Black Friday actions, spoke with Patch on video (see the attached clip).

But most of those on the picket line were members of the UFCW. Among them was John Roe, a San Lorenzo native who now lives in Dublin and works for Safeway.

Roe said he is supporting the Walmart workers because the company pays them so little, they qualify for food stamps and other services at taxpayer expense. (See video of Roe above.)

This San Leandro store has emerged as one of the focal points of this nationwide battle between labor and management.

The store on Hesperian Boulevard is infamous as the site of a shooting on Black Friday 2011 that briefly put San Leandro in the national spotlight.

More recently it has experiened at least two small demonstrations by current workers, UFCW organizers and community supporters.

Read more Patch coverage of the Walmart union struggle in San Leandro.

Albert Rubio November 29, 2012 at 05:21 AM
The Sovereignty of the Consumers "The direction of all economic affairs is in the market society a task of the entrepreneurs. Theirs is the control of production. They are at the helm and steer the ship. A superficial observer would believe that they are supreme. But they are not. They are bound to obey unconditionally the captain's orders. The captain is the consumer. Neither the entrepreneurs nor the farmers nor the capitalists determine what has to be produced. The consumers do that. If a businessman does not strictly obey the orders of the public as they are conveyed to him by the structure of market prices, he suffers losses, he goes bankrupt, and is thus removed from his eminent position at the helm. Other men who did better in satisfying the demand of the consumers replace him." Mises, Human Action
Albert Rubio November 29, 2012 at 06:44 AM
"[The consumers] determine the income of every member of the market economy. The consumers, not the entrepreneurs, pay ultimately the wages earned by every worker, the glamorous movie star as well as the charwoman. With every penny spent the consumers determine the direction of all production processes and ... all business activities. This ... has been described by calling the market a democracy in which every penny gives a right to cast a ballot... However, the comparison is imperfect. In the political democracy only the votes cast for the majority candidate or the majority plan are effective in shaping the course of affairs... But on the market no vote is cast in vain. Every penny spent has the power to work upon the production processes. The publishers cater not only to the majority by publishing detective stories, but also to the minority reading lyrical poetry and philosophical tracts. The bakeries bake bread not only for healthy people, but also for the sick on special diets. It is true, ... The rich cast more votes than the poorer citizens. But this inequality is itself the outcome of a previous voting process. To be rich, in a pure market economy, is the outcome of success in filling best the demands of the consumers. A wealthy man can preserve his wealth only by continuing to serve the consumers in the most efficient way." - Mises, Human Action
Albert Rubio November 29, 2012 at 07:03 AM
"In an unhampered market economy the capitalists and entrepreneurs cannot expect an advantage from bribing officeholders and politicians. On the other hand, the officeholders and politicians are not in a position to blackmail businessmen and to extort graft from them. In an interventionist country powerful pressure groups are intent upon securing for their members privileges at the expense of weaker groups and individuals. Then the businessmen may deem it expedient to protect themselves against discriminatory acts on the part of the executive officers and the legislature by bribery; once used to such methods, they may even try to employ them in order to secure privileges for themselves. At any rate the fact that businessmen corrupt politicians and officeholders and are blackmailed by such people does not indicate that they are supreme and rule the countries. It is those ruled--and not the rulers--who bribe and are paying tribute." - Mises, Human Action
Albert Rubio November 29, 2012 at 07:19 AM
Competition is not Darwinism "In nature there prevail irreconcilable conflicts of interests. The means of subsistence are scarce. Only the fittest plants and animals survive. The antagonism between an animal starving to death and another that snatches the food away from it is implacable. Social cooperation under the division of labor removes such antagonisms. It substitutes partnership and mutuality for hostility. The members of society are united in a common venture. The term competition as applied to the conditions of animal life signifies the rivalry between animals which manifests itself in their search for food. We may call this phenomenon biological competition. Biological competition must not be confused with social competition, i.e., the striving of individuals to attain the most favorable position in the system of social cooperation. As there will always be positions which men value more highly than others, people will strive for them and try to outdo rivals. Social competition is consequently present in every conceivable mode of social organization. If we want to think of a state of affairs in which there is no social competition, we must construct the image of a socialist system in which the chief in his endeavors to assign to everybody his place and task in society is not aided by any ambition on the part of his subjects... But such people would no longer be acting men." - Mises, Human Action
Ken Briggs December 12, 2012 at 01:51 PM
so whats the latest news about this stuff .


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