O.U.R. Walmart demonstrators stop in Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

O.U.R. Walmart demonstrators stop in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A busload of Walmart strikers en route to the annual Walmart shareholders meeting stopped in Louisville Friday for a demonstration.

The strikers WDRB spoke with say they have several goals and they're going to make sure their voices are heard.

The group is called O.U.R. Walmart.

It stands for "Organization United for Respect."

The bus started in Chicago. Their destination is Bentonville, Ark., where the annual meeting of Walmart shareholders will take place on June 7th.

They are stopping for demonstrations at stores along the route.

"We just want to work like everyone else and be able to provide for our families," said Gabriel Teneyuque, a Walmart striker.

They say they have specific goals.

They say they want the company to pay a minimum of $13 an hour and more full time jobs to be available.

And they want dependable, predictable work schedules.

"I've talked with older workers who've been at my store 15 or 20 years and they've seen it gotten worse and worse and worse and they're happy we're standing up and speaking out," said Teneyuque.

The way the demonstrations work is they go in the store as a group wearing their O.U.R. Walmart tees.

They pass out fliers with their goals to other associates hoping to grow their team.

"We see the inherent value in Walmart showing their workers, especially their associate workers respect," said Flaco Aleman, executive director of Kentucky Jobs with Justice.

At this demonstration, at the Walmart on the Outer Loop of Louisville, the store asked them to leave and called police.

No one was arrested because they cooperated by leaving the building and continued their gathering outside.

"Sam Walton had a really great dream when this company started out and we've gotten away from that. We want to get back to what his vision was," said Teneyuque.

According to O.U.R. Walmart, that dream means sharing profits with all associates and treating them as partners.

They say they plan to deliver a "Declaration of Respect" at the shareholders meeting, hoping to be heard.

"This isn't the first time. I'd like to say it'll be the last but that'll be contingent to how much Walmart pays attention and listens to the folks who are making them their fortune," Aleman told WDRB.

"I'm very very proud to come down here and see all these workers coming together and hearing the stories and all the build up. It's changing things. Things are getting better," said Teneyuque.

When WDRB contacted Walmart, the company released the following statement:

"We estimate about 50 people are participating in their latest publicity stunt, but it is a fraction of the 1.3 million Walmart associates in the U.S.," said Brooke Buchanan, senior director of corporate communications at Walmart.

"The 'OUR Walmart' group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the United Food and Commercial Workers union that is hungry for attention," said Buchanan.

"Walmart's annual shareholders meeting is a celebration of our associates to thank them for the hard work they put in every single day to serve our customers around the globe. And we don't believe this latest publicity stunt by the unions is going to dampen our festivities of celebrating our associates."

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