A few of us got together outside of the WalMart in Monroe to draw attention to the low wages, anemic job benefits and servile work conditions at WalMart and many other large retail and food service chains. We spread out across the parking lot, distributing some literature and eventually made our way to the store entrances. It wasn’t long before we were greeted by the store manager, “Are any of you WalMart associates?”
Low wage workers are afraid. They are afraid of what happens if the car they need to get to work breaks down and they can’t afford to fix it. They are afraid of what happens if a child gets a cold and they need a day off. They are afraid of what happens if they are unable to pay bills like rent, utilities and/or healthcare. They are afraid of what happens if they get cut off from government food, medical or other assistance.
But there is one thing they are more afraid of … they are afraid of what happens if they get fired. I smiled when the store manager asked if any of us were WalMart associates because none of us were afraid.