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Thousands to "Quarantine" Wal-Mart as Hazardous to Community Health

Sian Lewis, Jobs with Justice (202) 365-9122
Fred Azcarate, Jobs with Justice (202) 316-0236

Thousands to "Quarantine" Wal-Mart as Hazardous to Community Health

WASHINGTON, DC shareholders meeting, thousands of concerned citizens in hazmat suits, face shields and rubber gloves will attempt to "quarantine" Wal-Mart locations across the country.

This "Bureau of Workers Health" organized by Jobs with Justice and the Ruckus Society will be armed with yellow caution tape, health hazard signs, and "Notices of Quarantine." 30 actions are planned nationwide. In Bentonville, AK, low-income residents from across the state will serve Notices of Quarantine to Wal-Mart shareholders as they come in and out of the meeting, directly confronting them about their company's policies. In Cleveland, OH, residents will quarantine a controversial proposed Wal-Mart sited on a toxic waste dump. In Mountain View, CA, 80-year-old members of the Raging Grannies will sing and dance outside a super-center.

The quarantine will focus on Wal-Mart's failure to provide health care to a majority of its employees, an issue currently in the media spotlight. In January, Maryland passed a law compelling Wal-Mart to improve its health care benefits. Now, over 20 other states are considering similar

"It is outrageous that the largest corporation in the world has full-time workers who are forced to enroll in Medicaid at tax-payers expense," said Jobs with Justice Director, Fred Azcarate. The average pay for a Wal-Mart sales associate is $1,000 below the poverty line for a family of three.

Company employees top Medicaid rolls in at least 16 states. Jobs with Justice is a national campaign for workers¹ rights. Around the country, local Jobs with Justice Coalitions unite labor, community, faith-based, and student organizations to build power for working people.

The Ruckus Society provides experience, training, and skills to organizations working for environmental protection, human rights, and social justice.