Employees, Various Support Groups Protest Outside Wal-Mart In Wake Of The Company's Recent Health Care Benefit Changes

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flickr user Daisy.Sue
Wal-Mart's employees aren't nearly as happy as its logo.

Employees are miffed with the company's decision to scale back health benefits for part-time employees and hike premiums for some full-time employees.

As a result, a couple of Orange County groups are waging support campaigns in hopes that Wal-Mart executives will change their minds.

Chirag Bhakta
of the Orange County Labor Federation was one of about 30 people who attended a protest at a Wal-Mart in Paramount last week. He says he attended the protest to show his solidarity with "laborers everywhere." 

"With Wal-Mart, there's been a lot of silence. They're really good at curbing any type of worker resistance. The people who work there tell their employers, 'You can't keep doing this to us. You make record profits and are taking away our healthcare,'" Bhakta says. 

While Bhakta spoke of record profits, the company claims they had to make the health care changes to balance things out amid rising costs. 

In a New York Times story by Steven Greenhouse and Reed Abelson, Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Rossiter said:
"Over the last few years, we've all seen our health care rates increase and it's probably not a surprise that this year will be no different. We made the difficult decision to raise rates that will affect our associates' medical costs. The decisions made were not easy, but they strike a balance between managing costs and providing quality care and coverage." 

Dan Hindman, a part-time employee at the Paramount Wal-Mart where the protest was held last week, says he's grateful to the Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart -- or OUR Wal-Mart, for short. Hindman says it was the nonunion group of employees that told him about the health care change, not his employer themselves. 

Hindman says his frustration with the company has mounted since he was first employed. 
"You have to be fulltime to get healthcare. I've been there three years. I've been promised and promised and promised full-time and nothing. I don't believe in the word promise anymore," Hindman says. "The healthcare thing is killing me."
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6 comments
BHAG
BHAG

Man....this chirag guy is everywhere.......he is becoming more like one of those talking heads on talk radio.....

JorgeSanchez
JorgeSanchez

Those fools should be thankful they have a job.Keep competing with the illegals for work and see who wins.

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

In Oakland, the Occupy Wall Street Movement has grown to a citywide General Strike. From what I heard on TV, (notice not even a referenced article posted in OCW) even the city is not fighting this strike. This is what will effect change in Washington... Shut down the entire nation.. when the OWS people realize a general strike with one demand such as Oaklands will be successful. A legal staged demonstration is NOT an occupation. As I understand Oaklands one demand in the general strike is initiate a tax on wall street transactions. This is a good idea, Who profits from the wars that have drained our Federal Reserves, not the 99% that's for sure!

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

They should hook up with those crooks at CALPERS. 

Zebrastand
Zebrastand

Absolutely stand with Occupy! Has not been but a few years ago that Walmart had the walls up by the check out lanes that touted something to the effect of "Proudly Made In The USA with Union Pride".

S.A. Artist
S.A. Artist

Marisa, why didn't these protesters hook up with Occupy protesters?   What a wasted opportunity? 

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