Municipal Government, New York

Activist Community Rally Behind Walmart Worker Fired Over Five Dollars

November 30, 2015
By Joanne Powers Workers Independent News

A diverse group of activists and community groups is rallying behind a Walmart employee fired earlier this month from an East Greenbush, New York Walmart. Thomas Smith, who had gathered shopping carts in the store’s parking lot for nearly three months after being recently released from prison, was fired November 6th for redeeming five dollars and ten cents worth of discarded cans and bottles.

According to Walmart, anything found on their property belongs to Walmart, and taking the cans and bottles constituted theft. Smith, unaware of the policy, repaid the money, but was still fired. Among those coming to Smith’s defense after the incident received publicity are labor and religious groups, members of the New York State Assembly and even the Former Bishop of Albany. They are joining the Center for Law and Justice in Albany in demanding that Walmart reinstate Smith to his job, pay him lost wages, apologize and retract statements they’ve made to discredit him. Alice Green is the Center’s executive director: Alice Green The response has been unbelievable. We’ve had contacts from people all over the world, like New Zealand and England. All across this country people are outraged, because they understood how Walmart treats its employees, with great abuse.

So they came to his defense. On Black Friday, there will be a protest demonstration in front of Walmart to get the store to respond to those three demands. We’re just astonished that Walmart has stooped so low, and amazed at how many people have told us about the abuse that Walmart inflicts upon its employees. [40] The Center says that if their demands are not met by Monday, November 30th, they will be calling for and leading a boycott of Walmart stores across the country during the holiday season.
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November 29, 2015

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