This article originally appeared on watchdog.org.
Accusing Walmartâ??s owners of â??robbing America,â?ť a labor union fueled by workersâ??Â mandatory duesÂ led protests recentlyÂ demanding full-time hours and $15 hourly wages for the mega-retailerâ??sÂ employees.
Walmartâ??s corporate headquarters, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., says the company has more than 1.3 million employees and in 2013 promoted 170,000 â??to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.â?ť This summer,Â The Wall Street Journal reportedÂ on a study concluding Walmart store managers are paid an average of $92,462.
Demonstrations last week against the Walton family, founders of Walmart, were coordinatedÂ in Arizona, New York and Washington, D.C., by â??Organization United for Respect at Walmartâ?ť and â??Making Change at Walmart,â?ť twoÂ United Food andÂ Commercial Workers campaigns to unionize Walmart workers.
UFCWÂ headquarters in D.C. had 1,274,156 members and receivedÂ $210 million in revenue from its state and local affiliates in 2013, based on its latest report to the U.S. Department of Labor. With the unionâ??s monthly dues ranging from $15.04 to $20.15 per member, UFCW stands to gain tens of millions of dollars if even a small portion of Walmartâ??s workforce votes to unionize.
At UFCWâ??s Oct. 16 D.C. demonstration, protesters marched and sat in the streets withÂ Making Change at Walmart printouts reading,Â â??Standing Up for OUR Jobs,â?ť â??The Waltons are robbing Americaâ?ť and â??Didnâ??t your mother teach you to share?â?ť
In D.C. and 26 states, workers can be forced to pay UFCW as a condition of employment. UFCW took mandatory fees from 7,292 nonmembers in 2013 and paid union President Joseph Hansen a salary ofÂ $297,971.
Including expenses and other disbursements, Hansen was paid $350,960. UFCW Canada President Wayne Hanley was paid a total ofÂ $372,548, and several other UFCW officials were paid more thanÂ $300,000.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called UFCWâ??s D.C. protest aÂ â??powerful stand against what the Walton Family is doing to America.â?ť UFCW is a member of the AFL-CIO coalition,Â which paid Trumka $322,131Â in its most recent fiscal year.
UFCWÂ thanked TrumkaÂ for attending the protest and â??for all you do to help people feed their families,â?ť but did not respond to a Watchdog.org requestÂ to clarify how the Waltons are â??robbing America.â?ť
After being refused entryÂ to the officesÂ of The Walton Family Foundation,Â UFCWÂ protesters in D.C. blocked the intersection of 18th Street and K Street. â??Walmart workers wonâ??t be moved,â?ťÂ UFCW asserted. â??Theyâ??re staying put because they need a living wage and full time hours NOW.â?ť
UFCWâ??s D.C. demonstratorsÂ cheered at the news their counterpartsÂ in New York had been arrested. By 3 p.m. Thursday, the D.C. contingentÂ had been arrested, as well.
UFCW framed the arrest of its protesters for sitting in the streetÂ as further evidence of their victimhood.