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Tue Oct 16, 2012, 12:18 PM

Meet the Crawfish-Peeling Guestworkers Who Inspired Walmart Walkouts


from YES! Magazine:


Meet the Crawfish-Peeling Guestworkers Who Inspired Walmart Walkouts
How a few courageous workers in small-town Louisiana sparked nationwide actions demanding better wages and working conditions for those who pick, pack, stock, and sell the mega-retailerís products.

by Cecilia Garza
posted Oct 11, 2012


In the small town of Breaux Bridge, La., Martha Uvalle and her co-workers at C.J.'s Seafood, a Walmart supplier, faced abuses many Americans imagine only take place in poorer, faraway countries: They were forced to work shifts of up to 24 hours, with no overtime pay; threatened with beatings if their breaks lasted too long; and, on at least two occasions, locked inside the facility to work. Some fell asleep at their workstations from exhaustion.

Uvalle had heard that there were organizations that defended the rights of immigrant workers like her. In 2011, someone had mentioned a group called the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA).

But, for a year, she held on to the number and didn't call. Change seemed impossible.

So when Uvalle gave the NGA's number to her feisty co-worker, Ana Rosa Diaz, it was an act of tremendous courage. Diaz then actually called the NGA to report the working conditions at C.J.'s. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/meet-the-crawfish-peeling-guestworkers-who-inspired-walmart-walkouts



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