In an inspiring example of Union Fail, the planned union walkout on Walmart during Black Friday led off with a one-employee walkout at a Walmart in St. Cloud, Florida on Wednesday. The walkout was led by – and entirely constituted by – Vanessa Ferreira, 59. She told her manager that she was going on strike. The other workers watched her leave, shrugged, and went back about their business. The police then warned Ferreira for trespass.
Ferreira has worked for Walmart for eight years in the cakes department, where she decorates cakes. But she says that her wages are too low – at nearly $12 per hour – to survive on. Which, of course, begs the question of how she’s been living on those wages for eight years.
“They pay low wages, then the taxpayers pick up the tab for food stamps and Medicaid,” said Ferreira. “They need to take care of their people. They need to be responsible to their workers.”
Huffington Post tried to champion Ferreira as a brave soul:
Whatever strikes hit Walmart stores this Friday, it’s likely only a small, perhaps miniscule fraction of the retailer’s 1.4-million member U.S. workforce will take part. And though news footage may show boisterous gatherings by activists outside stores, the more daring acts of protest will have been undertaken by individual workers like Ferreira who walk out when there are no TV cameras around. In recent days, it became clear that if she went on strike she would probably do so alone.
But even Ferreira acknowledges that the other Walmart employees say she doesn’t speak for them, and are annoyed by her theatrics.