Protesters, targeting Walmart Board Member Marissa Mayer, disrupted a fireside chat today between her and Salesforce’s Marc Benioff at the SaaS provider’s annual conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
The protesters, with a group called Our Walmart, stormed the fireside chat to protest working conditions at Walmart and the plight of about 80 workers who were fired by the retail chain. […]
According to published reports, yesterday, the federal government condemned Walmart’s practices, saying the company acted illegally against its workers.
Mayer has been the target of many Walmart-related protests — including one at Yahoo headquarters in California, where five Walmart workers were arrested after Mayer refused to meet with them — since she joined the company’s board in 2012. Walmart workers say the company has been illegally firing and disciplining members of OUR Walmart, a group formed to advocate for better wages and working conditions. And they say Mayer has ignored repeated requests to talk with them about it.
Walmart faces a variety of operational, ethical, and image problems. And its labor problems show no signs of slowing down, as worker strikes spread, Black Friday protests loom, and a federal agency is ready to prosecute Walmart for labor law violations. Last June, Nicholas Carlson wondered in Business Insider whether “the distraction of being on Wal-Mart’s board is worth it for Mayer and Yahoo.” We have wondered — and continue to wonder — the same thing, especially since she has her hands quite full at Yahoo right now.