TERRE HAUTE —
Not everyone who entered Walmart on Friday was looking for a bargain.
Four representatives of Terre Haute’s First Unitarian Universalist Congregation went to the south-side Walmart on U.S. 41 with a letter calling on the retail giant to improve working conditions for its employees.
Delivered by Jennie Barrington, the congregation’s interim minister, Cathy McGuire, the social action committee chairperson and two other members, the letter stated the congregation’s concern with what it termed “poor working conditions, poor pay and lack of benefits for Walmart’s employees across the country.”
The letter, which was signed by 28 members of the Fruitridge Avenue congregation, stated they believe it is “immoral that Walmart…makes billions of dollars every year in profit on the backs of people who are not treated with dignity and respect. An adequate wage gives people respect and makes the local economy better. It probably cuts some crime as well.”
The four delivered the letter to a Walmart manager around 11 a.m. One employee with whom they spoke had worked on Thanksgiving until midnight and returned to work at 8 a.m. Friday morning, Barrington said.
“We have to speak up for them,” she said, in a telephone interview with the Tribune-Star later Friday. “As a Unitarian Universalist minister, I really do try to speak up for workers’ rights.”
The congregation’s action coincides with a larger number of similar steps by Unitarian Universalist congregations around the country. It also coincided with Black Friday, the biggest single shopping day of the year and a day on which protesters staged demonstrations at a number of Walmarts around the U.S.
The estimated number of Walmart employees taking part in Black Friday protests across the country varies according to the source. Nationwide efforts to organize the demonstrations were led by Organization United for Respect at Walmart, a union-backed, not-for-profit organization.
There were no reports of demonstrations Friday or late Thursday at Terre Haute Walmarts. One store employee said the east-side Walmart was packed with shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening, awaiting Black Friday sales slated to begin at 8 p.m.
Walmart joined a number of other big retailers, such as Target and Toys R Us, by offering shoppers “Black Friday” deals on Thanksgiving evening. Market observers note that online sales were expected to continue climbing this Christmas season, leading “brick and mortar” stores to try new ways of luring customers, including earlier hours.
The Friday after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday because it is the day on which many retailers turn profitable for the year.
Walmart employs approximately 1.4 million Americans. Defenders of the corporation say it increases living standards by offering lower-priced goods and provides employment opportunities for low-skilled workers that would otherwise not exist.
Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TERRE HAUTE —
Not everyone who entered Walmart on Friday was looking for a bargain.
Blake Griffin remembers when he and his brother, Dale, would ride their bikes along wooded trails in the wilderness area of Fowler Park.
Officials say city ‘overspent’
Two Terre Haute councilmen told the Taxpayers Association of Vigo County Thursday they think the city is overspending, but they gave no solutions to reduce expenses.
Block downtown to close for repairs
A sinkhole is forcing the temporary closure of a major downtown street beginning Monday.
Wave of retirees at Vigo schools
Valarie Bailey has worked for the Vigo County School Corp. for 26 years in roles that included at-risk counselor, school social worker, assistant student services director and curriculum coordinator.
Fire house to fire dept.
A legal battle has been resolved to restore ownership of the community fire station in Fayette Township.
14th Street, from Oak to Poplar streets, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 9 for Friends and Family Weekend.
August Fire Safety Tip
Monthly safety hint — Barbeque/grilling safety
Difference makers, a nickel at a time
Joining a youth sports team, getting a new pair of shoes or taking music lessons are among the things that will be happening for more Vigo County children in the CASA Kids program thanks to a new financial supporter.
Westminster Village, a Terre Haute retirement community, is investing $1.8 million to construct 12 new villa homes, officials announced Wednesday.
Decades later, dry cleaners leave blemish
Fifty years ago, about 30 dry cleaners did business in the city of Terre Haute. City officials are now cleaning up the mess some left behind.
MARK BENNETT: Year of River sets example for state
Terre Haute pays more attention to the Wabash River these days.
Climate of less regulation, more chemical spills leaves ‘historical pollution,’ NCA director says
Former dry cleaning sites are an environmental problem all over the state, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Camping turnout low for first half of summer
Camping revenue for the past two months has dropped in Vigo County parks, a downturn park officials say is difficult to attribute to a new park policy limiting campers’ stays to 14 days in the three county parks.
Devastating fire takes out mobile home
A Seelyville mobile home sustained heavy damage in a fire early Wednesday morning.
Lost Creek Township firefighters were called to the scene in the 2200 block of Tabortown Road south of U.S. 40 at about 2 a.m.
Man posts bond after fatal wreck
An Oct. 7 trial date has been set for a Terre Haute man accused of driving while intoxicated causing death.
Driver injured, airlifted, cited for failure to yield
An elderly woman was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Sullivan County, according to Indiana State Police.
Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”
Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’
One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.
Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide
A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.
Sheriff charged in prostitution case
Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.
Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness
Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.
Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges
Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.
Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck
A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.
Semi driver cited for alcohol use
A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.
Church to give out school backpacks
United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.
Bus safety features
New safety features on South Vermillion School Corp. buses have led to fewer disciplinary problems and fewer incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, officials say.
Humvee driver says foot caused fatal accident
Kyle Pendergast, 22, the Terre Haute driver of a black Humvee charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing the death of a teenager, has told police he could not turn the wheel before the vehicle flipped in a field in an early Saturday morning accident.
Cleaner may have contaminated water
Groundwater and soil testing is set to begin within a week to learn whether toxic chemicals might have seeped into the wells of a small southside neighborhood and even beyond.
Housing Authority’s Warren Village nearing completion
Construction on the newest Terre Haute Housing Authority property – Warren Village – should wrap up next month, a housing authority official said Monday.
Observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking next chief
State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure as the state’s top judge.
- More News Headlines
- Trail blazers