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Program 5: 'Dear Walmart' - Workers Take On the World's Biggest Retailer (Exploiter)

  • Cinema Village 22 East 12th Street New York, NY, 10003 United States (map)

Dear Walmart - Walmart workers organize and fight for a historic pay raise. This heartfelt 5 year plus project follows the OUR Walmart workers’ alliance as they seek to organize the exploited workers of the largest retailer in the world. (2019, 59 min)

"Some workers love retail. All they want is for retail to love them back - in the form of a living wage, affordable healthcare, a safe workplace, and underlying it all, respect. OURWalmart (OUR, Organization United for Respect) was begun in 2011 by a few brave workers at the world’s largest private employer, many of whose two million-strong “family” live near the poverty line. Alone at first, and ultimately with the help of established union veterans, they used word of mouth to gain hundreds of members and bring them together in training sessions that double as morale boosters, all done in secret. Dear Walmart (not entirely ironically titled) is an ultimately upbeat story of their personal empowerment and their first victory, a $9/hour minimum wage for some 500,000 people. But this win was followed by the retaliatory closure of five Walmart stores, a huge loss of jobs." (Thanks to Judy Bloch)

NYC Premiere! Q&A with the directors, Kiley Kraskoukas and Michael Blain, to follow.

Shorts (to precede):

Triangle Fire - Remembering the 1911 NYC factory fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company that led to major labor reforms. (2019, 4 min)

NYSNA 2018 Year In Review - The NY Nurses Association accomplished many heroic feats at the bedside and beyond. (2018, 5 min)

Birth Of A Union - Despite being full time employees of the State of North Carolina, wages of many workers have been so low, that they have qualified for Federal food stamps.

The film chronicles the historic and heroic effort to organize low wage workers in North Carolina, where it is actually illegal for any State agency to agree to a Union contract.

While workers in North Carolina’s massive textile mills were finally able to secure a collective bargaining agreement with their employer to improve their wages and working conditions — though it took them 70 years to achieve this — public sector workers are absolutely forbidden by State law from obtaining such an agreement, a decision that was ratified by the US Supreme Court on the basis of the "States rights" 10th Amendment of the Federal Constitution.

Helping to give leadership to these workers has been a dynamic African-American union organizer working through one of the most progressive unions in the country. (2012, 20 min)

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