Workers at a Walmart-contracted warehouse in Southern California went on strike Wednesday to demand better conditions at their facility, according to Warehouse Workers United, a union-backed group representing the employees.
The walkout is apparently part of a broader strike expected to hit the Walmart supply chain in the run-up to the holiday shopping season, as workers and labor activists try to pressure the world's largest retailer into raising standards in both its stores and its contracted warehouses. Associates at Walmart stores have threatened to strike on Black Friday, potentially disrupting the megaretailer's plans for what is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year.
Warehouse Workers United, which represents many workers in the Inland Empire area of California, said the facility's workers initially planned to walk out on Thursday but moved their strike up a day.
"More workers were getting called off of work," said Guadalupe Palma, a spokeswoman for Warehouse Workers United. "It's clear workers are being silenced because they called off the most active workers, the ones who've been speaking out on the health and safety problems. A group of them ... were told not to come in."