Community rallies to support fired Walmart worker

2015 February 3
by admin
 ishMeet Ismael Nunez, an 11 year associate at Walmart store #1772 in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Ismael has been standing up for better working conditions at Walmart for it’s associates and customers.  On January 26, Ismael was terminated in what he believes is retaliation for speaking out for a better work place.  Ismael had recently participated in several actions around Black Friday and supporting the $15-Now campaign.  Ismael is among many Walmart workers who are being retaliated against for their words and protests. As a warning to others, Walmart management had police escort Ismael from the store.
Here is his story:

I worked at Walmart for 11 years and didn’t have problems until I started getting involved along with other employees across the country in campaigns for better wages, better benefits and other improvements at Walmart. Since then, I have participated in some rallies and events and I joined a nationwide strike at the end of last year.

The management at my store knew I’ve been a part of these efforts and have discouraged my coworkers from getting involved.

Recently, things got worse. First, I was given a coaching because a manager said I left eggs out of refrigeration for two hours. Later, she changed her story and said it was for 40 minutes. I kept working after the incident, but on January 15, 2015 I was coached by an assistant manager at my store about half an hour before I was scheduled to clock out on my overnight shift because he said I wasn’t doing all of my work. The problem is that those of us who work overnight shifts are given more work and are responsible for more sections of the store than any one person could reasonably be expected to handle.

I told him that I was scheduled to work another half hour to 7AM and he walked away. All of a sudden, he had called the police and had them escort me outside the story. He told me I would be arrested if I came back. Without knowing anything about what this meant for my employment, I was told five hours later that I would be suspended without pay until the store manager came back from vacation. When my manager returned several days later, she said she would open an investigation. Just a few days later, she called me in and told me I would be terminated over the egg incident many weeks before — for which I had already been coached.

This doesn’t make sense. To me, it’s clear that the real reason why I was terminated is because of my involvement with OUR Walmart. I’ve heard of other workers being retaliated against for speaking out about how Walmart treats us and I want this to stop. Please join me in asking Walmart to give me my job back and to stop retaliating against employees who speak out about their jobs.

Walmart should be rewarding hardworking associates like Ismael not calling the police on them.

Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice stands with Ismael and ask our members to take action!

1) Call Walmart Store #1772 in Klamath Falls, Oregon at 541-885-6890 and tell store manager Kelly Cooper to put Ismael back to work and to do the right thing and be fair to Walmart workers.

2) Add your name to the petitionWalmart: Rehire Ismael and stop retaliating against workers“?

Make a sign and bring it to a Community Solidarity Rally to show support and send the strong message to Walmart management: “Rehire Ismael — STOP Retaliation” Rallies will be held in Medford and in Klamath Falls on Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

3) Medford: Feb. 4th, NOON — South Medford Walmart Superstore at 1360 Center Drive. Gather at the Center Drive entrance.

4) Klamath Falls: Feb. 4th, 5:30pm at the Walmart at 3600 Washburn Way. Gather in the Big 5 parking lot just off Washburn Way.

For more information, call Wes at 541-482-6988.

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