By Velma J. Butler, President, CFT Council of Classified Employees

I spent the day after Thanksgiving with family and friends at Walmart. We weren’t in front of the largest — and richest — retailer in the world for Black Friday sales. We were there to support employees standing up for what every worker wants: dignity and respect on the job.

Walmart’s formula for “success” is no secret. They offer cheap prices by paying suppliers around the world like dirt, paying their 1.4 million employees like dirt, and driving smaller competitors out of business. If other “big box” stores try to play by the same rules, it touches off a race to the bottom that spreads the pain.

Are the people who shop at Walmart aware of what they’re doing? They may get a cheaper TV, but they’re making the Walton family even richer and pushing their neighbors deeper into poverty. This is not the future we want for our children.

For some working Californians, especially in rural areas, Walmart may be the only option for discount shopping. But with a little planning and internet access, we can all find great bargains online. This issue of Classified Insider provides several websites that offer union-made products and services you can be proud to purchase.

The only way working families can advance is by standing together and standing up. The clerical dockworkers in San Pedro and Long Beach did and broke through two and a half years of management stalling. Eight days on a picket line is no one’s idea of a good time, but now those ILWU members — and future members — can look forward with hope.

Walmart workers are finally standing up and every union member should stand with them. They can count on me and I hope we can count on you. Stand with us!