Wal-Mart released a statement Friday mocking the low turnout for this week’s staged walkouts by members of OUR Wal-Mart, an affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).
Protests and walkouts were held in 15 cities Thursday, with three protesters arrested in New York City on trespassing and disorderly conduct charges while trying to deliver a petition to a Wal-Mart board member, according to Berlin Rosen, the public relations firm representing the protesters.
“Once again, it looks like the UFCW threw a party and nobody showed up. Despite promises of ‘thousands of workers’ protesting this week, the union failed to deliver more than a smattering of paid protesters at their 15 orchestrated events. At most, 50 of the participants actually work for Wal-Mart, put another way, that’s less than one-tenth of one percent of our 1.3 million associates,” Wal-Mart vice president of corporate communications David Tovar said in a statement.
“You see so few current associates participating because they understand the unparalleled opportunity Wal-Mart provides. For example, 75 percent of our store management teams started as hourly associates, we have more than 300,000 associates who have been with the company for 10 years or more and every year we promote 160,000 associates to jobs with higher pay and more responsibility,” Tovar said.
“The UFCW is quickly becoming the boy who cried wolf. They put out news releases with big promises, but fail to deliver on those promises. It was proven again this week that the OUR Wal-Mart group doesn’t speak for the vast majority of Wal-Mart associates,” Tovar said.