Stewart Acuff

Jul 17

Walmart Sues Individual Activist for Standing Up for World’s Most Exploited Workers

The world’s largest and most oppressive corporation in the world, Walmart, has sued Gene Lantz (pictured below), a retired union activist, for standing up for the victims of Walmart, some of the most oppressed workers in the world.

Lantz, the United Food and Commercial Workers, OUR Walmart, and Jobs With Justice have been sued by Walmart for civil trespassing for crossing their parking lots.

We’ve noted in this space before how thin-skinned and controlling the world’s largest global corporations can be. Walmart and others who drive global poverty and the economic race to the bottom can spend huge resources trying to control people in a free society for crossing a parking lot they don’t even own.

I’ve known Gene Lantz for about 20 years through Jobs With Justice. He is a very committed human rights and workers rights activist. His human rights activism goes back to 1967. His workers rights activism goes back to 1984 when he organized fellow workers who had been fired for standing up for a good union contract.

Gene hosts a Saturday morning radio show called Workers Beat at 9 am central on Dallas radio KNON, which is podcast and broadcast on YouTube.

He says that the Walmart lawsuit is part of their “game” to make themselves look like victims – a rich bit of irony since they may have created more economic victims than any other force in the world today. Gene says he doesn’t know if the lawsuit will work.

Walmart is the lowest of the low in corporate exploitation. Their heavy-handed intimidation won’t work on him.

Gene was greeted as a hero by fellow union members, and Jobs With Justice did an action within a week of the filing of the lawsuit.

But the stakes in this fight are high for those who work at Walmart. They fired at least 10 workers the same time they filed suit.

Gene has been making videos of public officials supporting Walmart workers and posting on them YouTube. He believes this may be a key tactic in the long strategy to hold Walmart accountable.

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