Organization Of Walmart Employees Says That More Workers Are Interested After Store Closings

The closure of 154 Walmart stores earlier this year wasn’t good news for anyone, except for perhaps some small-town storeowners and well organized resellers. One group that’s really benefiting, even though they’d probably rather not, is a splinter group of what used to be known as OUR Walmart, a group that is not a union, but works to share information between employees and organizes protests and strikes. As store closings continued, they noticed their Internet traffic is up.

Note: There’s some strangeness regarding who currently is OUR Walmart: the group discussed in this post actually changed its name to 15 At Walmart on Facebook over the weekend, and there are two different groups using the name. One group remains affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers. The other isn’t.

It’s one thing to have a lot of online visitors, but one leader explained to Buzzfeed that the increase in traffic also means that more people are reaching out and interested in talking. He also notes that increases in traffic tend to happen when there are stories in the news about the stores and their plight, and around key dates affecting employees’ status under the federal WARN law. That requires 60 days’ notice before a layoff, and some workers are still waiting to either find a job at a different store, or receive severance payments.

A spokesperson for Walmart pointed out to Buzzfeed that the group is claiming huge membership growth after breaking off from the United Food and Commercial Workers, the union that originally supported them as they started. Now the group runs on $5/month dues payments from members and grant money, and the company is skeptical that workers are clamoring to join now that the groups are no longer affiliated.

As Walmart Closes Stores, Facebook Group For Workers Gets Spike In Visits [Buzzfeed]

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