Filipinos join nationwide protests vs Walmart

by Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

September 6, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO – About a hundred people marched along San Francisco streets last night, calling on the world’s largest retailer to treat their workers better. Similar protests were held in 14 other cities across America, which included civil disobedience and arrests.

They are demanding for Walmart to pay all of their employees at least $25,000 a year or $12 an hour, and to stop what they claim is retaliation against strikers.

“The reality is, Walmart is the world’s largest private employer with nearly $16 billion in profits last year. And yet, they pay their workers poverty wages. Moreover, what they’re doing is that they are retaliating against workers who are speaking out,” said Derrick Plummer, spokesperson for Our Walmart, a national organization of Walmart associates.

Isidoro Siapno and Eduardo Daguioan said they are among Filipino workers directly affected by Walmart’s alleged unfair labor practices.

68-year old Siapno worked in the maintenance department of Walmart in Milpitas, California. He said he was terminated on August 9, for reportedly failing to perform his duties. But he said, since management cut back on their hours, he was left to do more clean-up work.

“I was by myself doing the job of three people. So I was struggling,” he said.

He wants to file a wrongful termination claim against Walmart, because he claimed he lost his job without due process.

“I want to fight for my job, that’s why I joined this protest,” stated Siapno.

75-year old Daguioan was a co-worker of Siapno. On February of this year, he said he was injured while on the job.

“I was loading something by the trash compactor, when I snapped my shoulder,” he said.

He claimed a doctor hired by Walmart, failed to treat him properly, and he was allegedly forced to continue to go to work despite his injury. Months later, he said he was finally allowed to take time off. But he’s barely getting by. He said to this day, he claims he hasn’t received any worker’s compensation.

“I don’t know when…but they have to pay me,” Daguioan insisted. He is in the process of filing an injury claim against Walmart.

Both Siapno and Daguioan claimed they only earned a little over $11 an hour. They said, soon they may be forced to file for welfare or government assistance, just to survive.

Our Walmart, a union-backed members group, said it has filed more than 100 unfair labor practice charges against Walmart with the National Labor Relations Group. Some of it are currently being reviewed.

Walmart has denied any wrongdoing. Balitang America tried to get an interview with a Walmart spokesperson. But the company sent a statement via email instead, citing that they pay their employees well. They said more than 99% of Walmart employees make more than minimum wage, with full-time associates earning an average of $12.83 an hour. Walmart added that more than 4,000 store managers earn an average of $170,000 a year.

Walmart officials added that yesterday’s protests do not reflect the views of its one point three million associates. They said the protests were union-ochestrated and were primarily made up of union members and activists.

For more information, you may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com.

5 Comments on this post.

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  • Aw
    7 September 2013 at 7:31 am - Reply

    Di na kayo nadala na ang WalMart eh matagal ng pangit at maraming nagrereklamo, di lang filipino pati ibang lahi kahit saang States pa yan. lol!

  • kikay.Pang0
    7 September 2013 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Failure to perform duties , this could only mean one thing … .. His lips is doing a lot of movement instead of his legs .. WalMart made the right decision.

  • Delia
    8 September 2013 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    There are 2.2 million employees at walmart as i speak . If employee were not happy and satisfied, why continue working there ? I am sure the door is open to exit and leave the job , just as it was open when people entered to file a job applications. It was not force or shove in anyones throat to apply there .

    Someone is always waiting for a job to come by , and someone is always willing to have a job. Before applying ,do your homework , see if this is the right job for you , if not go elsewhere . There is 30 or 60 days probationary time , at that time period , one would know how the workforce operates . If the job does not fit your liking , then you have an option to go or stay. Case solve .

  • jorge buesa
    9 September 2013 at 8:56 am - Reply

    ComeOn people stop getting Griddy ? They are jobs that pay $8.00 per hour, and guess what some $7.50 . Sometimes people think making more money they be happy at they work place, or Not happy ? ComeOn Man you have a job? How about other people that don’t have a JOB ?

  • Brusco
    12 September 2013 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Alam nio ang mahirap sa walmart ginagawang kalabaw ang mga empleyado yong tarbaho ng 4 na tao gusto gawing isang tao lang ang gagawa sinasamantala nila ang mga tao kasi alam nila mahirap hu manap ng tarbaho kaya wala silang paki alam katulad ng mga matatanda na na nag tatarbaho sa walmart ang iba 12 to 15 years na nag tatarbaho konteng pagkakamali lang tatanggalin na at hindi na dumadaan sa proseso at papalitan nila ng part timers para makatipid sila ,ang ginagawa ng walmart bibigyan sila ng over time pagkatapos hindi papapasukin para mabawi nla yong oras so ganoon sila ka tricky .

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