Lichtenstein on Walmart Activism
Bill Resnick talks with labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein, Professor of History at the University of California Santa Barbara and author of The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business and editor of Wal-Mart: The Face of Twenty-First-Century Capitalism, among other works. They discuss the Wal-Mart business model, its productive efficiency and success in the USA, the resistance Wal-Mart has faced in other parts of the world, and its strategies for blocking unionization and exploiting just-in-time labor. They also consider the harms to labor caused by uncertain hours as well as low wages, and the courage of those Wal-Mart workers who have stood up to the corporation. Each worker who protests represents many more, and the successful recent Black Friday actions indicate important alliances between self-organized workers and other activists.