HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Politics 2014 (Forum) » “We Want the Working Poor...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:25 PM

“We Want the Working Poor to Have a Better Life”

Following the Thanksgiving protests at Walmart, CNN invited Congressman Alan Grayson on the air to explain what they were all about. Here is what he said:

CNN’S CAROL COSTELLO: Here in the United States, the protest against Walmart goes on. And you can count Representative-Elect Alan Grayson with standing with the company’s workers. He joins us now live. Welcome.

ALAN GRAYSON: Thank you.

COSTELLO: You attended a walkout at a Walmart in Orlando on Black Friday, and you showed your solidarity the night before by delivering bagged meals to Walmart employees who had to work on Thanksgiving, and that caused Walmart to call the cops. So tell us what happened.

GRAYSON: Well, we went to Walmart to hand out Thanksgiving dinners to them because they had to work on their Thanksgiving. They couldn’t be with their families. So we brought a bag; the bag had three things in it. A turkey sandwich, because it was Thanksgiving. A bag of chips. And a letter explaining to them their rights to organize.
https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/workingpoorbetterlife?refcode=Dec08DU

COSTELLO: So the cops were called? What did the cops do when they arrived? Tell us about that.

GRAYSON: Well, it was the security staff. Walmart always has security staff around. Once they saw that we were handing out the bags, they objected to that, asked us to leave, and we left. The security staff simply escorted us, as they often do. But the important thing is we showed the workers, first of all, what their rights are, because Walmart tries to keep them in the dark. And we showed them that they’re not alone, that people actually care. That we want the working poor to have a better life in America.
https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/workingpoorbetterlife?refcode=Dec08DU

COSTELLO: You posted a letter on your Facebook page and you wrote this: “Walmart accounts for more than 10% of all the retail sales in the United States. It is the largest private employer in the world, with more than two million employees. And even though those employees comprise barely ten percent of its cost of doing business, Walmart exploits them mercilessly. Now Walmart employees are starting to organize, starting to fight back.” I had a conversation at dinner last night with someone who says, “Hey if you don’t like working at Walmart, get another job.”

GRAYSON: Well listen, all the people who have those kinds of jobs suffer from the fact that we have 8% unemployment. But we all suffer from the fact that Walmart underpays its employees.] The average associate at Walmart makes barely $1,200 a month. That’s $1,200 a month. Could you live on $1,200 a month? I couldn’t.
https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/workingpoorbetterlife?refcode=Dec08DU

And the fact is that they don’t (live solely on that), because the taxpayers end up subsidizing them. Because Walmart underpays them, the taxpayers end up paying for their Medicaid. Because Walmart underpays them, the taxpayers end up paying for their food stamps. In fact, each Walmart associate costs the taxpayers over $1,000, and it is time to end that. Walmart needs to pay for its own employees, and give them a living wage.
https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/workingpoorbetterlife?refcode=Dec08DU

The minimum wage needs to be higher. Walmart and other employers need to pick up the tab on health insurance and health coverage for their own employees, and stop handing that tab off to the taxpayers.

COSTELLO: When many of those protests happened on Black Friday, we noticed that not a lot of workers comprised the big crowds. It was mostly union people, community leaders, and a few Walmart workers. Some might say that really the unions are behind this, the employees aren’t behind this so much.

GRAYSON: Well, in fact, at one Walmart not too long ago, 200 Walmart employees walked out, and shut down the store. But the Walmart employees in general are afraid. They’re being intimidated. They’re being told in many cases, “If you even talk about a union, you’ll be fired.” Here in Orlando, one of the employees who talked about a union was fired. He came back a few days later just to talk to his former employees, his former staff, his former colleagues, and they led him off the premises in handcuffs, in a way that everyone else could see. So these employees are being intimidated. They want to help. They want to join. They want to make their lives better, but Walmart is doing everything it can to prevent that.
https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/workingpoorbetterlife?refcode=Dec08DU

COSTELLO: Well, frankly it seems like Walmart is winning. It had one of its biggest Black Fridays ever. It didn’t stop people from shopping, these protests.

GRAYSON: The protests are not meant to stop people from shopping. The protests are meant to inform workers of their rights to organize under the law and under the Constitution. And to make sure that they understand that they’re not alone, and they will be protected if they exercise their rights. It’s not meant to raise prices. It’s not meant to interfere with shopping. It’s meant to organize people who desperately need to be organized, to make a better life for themselves.
https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/workingpoorbetterlife?refcode=Dec08DU

COSTELLO: Representative-Elect Alan Grayson, thanks so much for being with us this morning.

GRAYSON: Thank you too.

Ask yourself this: who else among our so-called Representatives is standing up for the working poor? Who else is helping to make the right to organize something real? Isn’t it about time that you showed your support again for a Congressman With Guts? It’s not hard – just click on that CONTRIBUTE button below.
https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/workingpoorbetterlife?refcode=Dec08DU

29 replies, 4624 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply “We Want the Working Poor to Have a Better Life” (Original post)
Alan Grayson Dec 2012 OP
JNelson6563 Dec 2012 #1
senseandsensibility Dec 2012 #2
DFW Dec 2012 #3
freshwest Dec 2012 #16
WCGreen Dec 2012 #21
DFW Dec 2012 #24
diabeticman Dec 2012 #27
niyad Dec 2012 #4
BlueToTheBone Dec 2012 #5
mrsadm Dec 2012 #6
gateley Dec 2012 #7
libodem Dec 2012 #8
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #9
theaocp Dec 2012 #10
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #11
OneGrassRoot Dec 2012 #12
hootinholler Dec 2012 #13
HCE SuiGeneris Dec 2012 #23
thesquanderer Dec 2012 #14
bvar22 Dec 2012 #15
Skittles Dec 2012 #17
alp227 Dec 2012 #18
zentrum Dec 2012 #19
CaliforniaPeggy Dec 2012 #20
HCE SuiGeneris Dec 2012 #22
Dark n Stormy Knight Dec 2012 #25
Scurrilous Dec 2012 #26
harun Dec 2012 #28
dotymed Dec 2012 #29

Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:30 PM

1. As one of the working poor you speak of

I say THANK YOU! Keep hammering away Congressman! You speak for many of us.

Julie

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:33 PM

2. Thanks for explaining the purpose of the protests.

This was never explained in the media. Congrats on your win, Congressman!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:39 PM

3. The Washington Post ran a huge article on just the people you speak of

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DFW (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:11 PM

16. And without organizing there will be more in the race to the bottom. Lot of work ahead.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DFW (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:02 AM

21. We use to drive through New Castle on the way to my grandparents house two or

three times a year. We would stop at a Chile dog place. I wonder if it was the Coney Island place...

I can't believe some of the comments. This country is in real trouble.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WCGreen (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:02 AM

24. The meanness and anger are very depressing.

These people are considered by many in our country as nuisances rather than fellow countrymen. What kind of people are we raising? What kind of people have we been raising?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WCGreen (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:14 AM

27. This is my wife's home town and city I'm living in now because my wife feels a duty to her (Crazy)

mother. My wife can't wait to leave this town and never set eyes on it again. This is a dying town NOT because people don't want to work or be productive IT IS THE JERKS that keep employment opportunities out of the town. It is the rich building owners who charge outrageous rent for a downtown building. It is people who are frustrated that the few places that employ in that town keep wages low because they know for those who don't have cars it is either this job or nothing.

Warner Bros (YES THE ACTUAL MOVIE STUDIO) had it's first studio in New Castle, There first Nickelodeon (Movie Theater I for get the exact name my wife called it) in that town. THE BUILDING IS STILL STANDING. About six years ago the roof of that building had a cave and word reached Warner Bros. They offered to put some sort of attraction in that very building IF the owner of the building would get the roof fixed. The owner of the building dragged his butt in the repairs that Warner Bros never did come. Rumor has it the owner waited too long to get the place fixed up.

My wife and I will need to find a new apartment to rent because our slumlord isn't fixing anything and the city is going to condemn the place two days after Christmas.

the best places we can find are at least $125 more a month than what we are paying now than what we are paying. SAD part is that at $300 a month in rent and paying our utilities + car insurance and Gas (I work 40 minutes out of town to have a better pay check) and my wife's pay check we end up robbing peter to pay paul and very rarely have a month where all the bills our paid where we have groceries in the house and pay for my diabetic medicine. People --my family yell at us to start savings but honestly we can't right now.

My wife goes without insurance so I can afford insurance. IF I tried to cover her with my insurance I WOULD NOT bring home a paycheck each pay because it would all go to insurance. My wife's employers (in town) have made getting her insurance difficult. She would have to give half of her paycheck to get coverage. We need her paychecks to pay bills. We haven't had cable in 3 years. The internet is the only way we keep in formed or contact family.

I'm not looking for anything I'm just trying to tell people how bad this town is and how people don't want the label of being lazy or wanting to be welfare queens or bums. It is kind of hard to work when you have no opportunities.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:45 PM

4. k and r

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:46 PM

5. Thanks for your efforts and I'm glad to see you back in Congress!

Our state leg went red for the first time since the mid 1800s and our party is moribund. I have a sense of helplessness on how to reconstitute our party and stand up to the Waltons, Tysons and other megacorps that dominate our state political landscape. In my last state, I was a campaign trainer; here, I'm told that we'll only do it their way...which is to go off and die like a dinosaur.

So, thanks for your fight, I know it will help us here in our little state.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:00 PM

6. Thank you Congressman Grayson! ... and organizing workers is tough

I was part of an effort to try to organize a union at my workplace, and I can say with certainty that employees are VERY afraid of what will happen to them if the employer knows they support a union.

Employers use all kinds of intimidation and retaliation tactics, even if they are illegal. Read "Confessions of a Union Buster" to learn what goes on.

Thank you Congressman for supporting the Walmart employees!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:47 PM

7. "working poor" should be an oxymoron. Shameful. Thanks, Congressman!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:50 PM

8. I (heart) Alan

Hug you brother!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:51 PM

9. I only regret that I have but one rec to give for this post

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:52 PM

10. This is EXACTLY why

we need more like Grayson. Please stay away from small aircraft, Congressman. There are many who do not like you. I am not among them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 02:25 PM

11. k&r

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 02:52 PM

12. Shameless request for your assistance. Maybe an aide can help?

How often does one get a chance like this?

I'll understand if this isn't seen or if others choose to delete it, but both requests are in alignment with the focus here.

You are on my contact list as a man of integrity, genuinely focused on The Common Good. Thank you for being there!!!

REQUEST #1:

Here is a BLOG POST regarding a petition to get FEMA Reservists enrolled in the federal health insurance program. FEMA said they were going to do it, OPM authorized enrollment 10 days ago, but nothing. A good contact would be so helpful! FEMA is stonewalling. (I'm the one who started a petition, and I'm following up like a dog with a bone; if President Obama would sign off on it as he did with federal firefighters, it would be a done deal.)

REQUEST #2:

Regarding a project for The Common Good...

We are in dire need of one national portal, a FIND HELP Directory and the basic framework is ready. I've been working towards this for years, trying to work with existing organizations, to no avail (too much bureaucratic red tape and competition within their own organizations.

Here's the draft page detailing this project. If you can think of any person, in government or the private sector, who could help launch such a project (which will create jobs), that would be WONDERFUL!

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!






Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 03:19 PM

13. Am I the only person here who is annoyed by the fundraising link at nearly every paragraph?

First, we get it, you need funds and many at DU have been sending funds, but this is over the top and smells of spam. Not only that it breaks the flow of the interview and appears sophomoric.

In fact, I'm not donating because it will encourage such behavior in the future.

So ask yourself this Alan's fund raising staffer, do you need the link at every break in your article, or perhaps the one at the end would serve. It's not too late to edit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hootinholler (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:33 AM

23. No.

You are not the only one. The repetitive links are indicative of spam and detract immensely.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 03:34 PM

14. This is realism. Not Romney's "we want everyone to be rich."

It's impossible for everyone to be rich. The guy who mows the lawn is never going to be rich enough to afford Romney's house. People like Romney don't want to pay these people much, how do they expect them to get rich? And if they do get rich, are the Romneys going to mow their own lawn, when there are no more non-rich people to do that work? And how are the Republicans going to balance a budget if they pay firefighters, police, teachers, and sanitation workers enough money to have their own mansions? And the big question, does anyone really fall for that BS?

The real fight isn't for some pie-in-the-sky make-everyone-rich scheme... it's simply to make sure that everyone who works can have a decent life. But sometimes it's hard for realism to compete with fairy tales.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 05:14 PM

15. DURec for Congressman Grayson.

He doesn't have any trouble finding his "comfortable shoes"!

We need 500 more just like him!


"There are forces within the Democratic Party who want us to sound like kinder, gentler Republicans.
I want a party that will STAND UP for Working Americans."
---Paul Wellstone


photo by bvar22
Shortly before Sen Wellstone was killed


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 10:39 PM

17. THANK YOU ALAN

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 10:43 PM

18. video of the interview

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 10:55 PM

19. Grayson is a real...

..true blue Democrat. From the time when the Democrats were fighters for workers, ordinary people and justice. Thank Goddess for him.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:57 AM

20. K&R for the truth.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:25 AM

22. I have to say I love you, Congressman Grayson.

May we all act together in the spirit and benevolence that brings a better outcome. You are an inspiration, sir.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:12 AM

25. “Hey if you don’t like working at Walmart, get another job.”

I don't have time to address all that is wrong with that statement. I'll just say thank goodness we have people like Grayson fighting the good fight.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:06 AM

26. K & R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:15 AM

28. We are with you Grayson!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:15 AM

29. Rep. Grayson, thank you for being a TRUE PATRIOT.

After all a person or politician that works hard to better the lives of the majority of Americans IS a true patriot.
You along with Sen. Bernie Sanders are two of the very few remaining politicians who put people before money and we notice and support you.
We have almost four years before the next Presidential election. IMO, one of our few hopes for a Democratic and just America, lie in your hands.With this much time to organize and get supporters (the majority I believe), would you PLEASE for our sake, at least put out feelers for a Grayson/Sanders ticket for 2016? It probably would not get a lot of support from our current, corporate democratic party.
If you began NOW, you two would be a "shoo in", even as third party candidates. America is a left leaning progressive country, no matter how the MSM colludes with corporate America to make us believe the opposite. Undoubtedly, the cry of "spoilers" will be loud, but this early the electoral process, you can disprove that inevitable label and (for the first time in decades) give Americans a real choice. Instead of choosing the lesser of two evils given to us by the corporate elite, Americans can vote for their actual best interests...what a change.
I am not wealthy and not spry,, but if you would do this, I and the majority of Americans (left leaning Progressives), would support and fight "tooth and nail" for, what I believe, is our last chance for equality in a peaceful "take-over.
I may be politically naive. Most Americans are. I beg you ( and I don't usually beg) to "strike while the iron is hot" and start this peoples campaign ASAP. I would gladly do everything in my power to help.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread