For Immediate Release: December 12, 2017

Contact: Amy Ritter, (202) 251-5907

MCAW Releases 2nd National TV Ad in Holiday Initiative: “Santa on Strike, Christmas at Risk.”

Commercial targeted at America’s families to air over the next 2 weeks throughout the U.S.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Making Change at Walmart (MCAW), a project of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) international labor union, released a striking, new 30-second TV commercial, “Santa on Strike, Christmas at Risk” as part of its multi-pronged holiday campaign denouncing Walmart’s “War on the Holidays.”

The “Santa on Strike, Christmas at Risk” ad highlights Walmart’s failure to provide holiday pay for its workers, and the decision by Santa Claus (yes, the Santa Claus) to go on strike until Walmart does the right thing. The ad can be viewed here at “Santa on Strike, Christmas at Risk.

“Why is Santa on Strike? Very simple. When Walmart took away holiday pay from its workers last year, hardworking Walmart workers lost approximately $70 million in holiday pay. Given Walmart’s actions, what would anyone expect Santa to do?” says MCAW director Randy Parraz. “Our hope is that Walmart shoppers will hear this message and make it clear that Walmart must change.”

The new ad is part of MCAW’s 6-week national initiative to highlight Walmart’s failure to do what every responsible employer does – pay its workers holiday pay, especially those who must work on special days, like Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

The “Santa on Strike” phase of MCAW’s holiday campaign will coordinate with a series of grassroots actions in which actual Santas will be on strike outside Walmart store locations in 13 cities across 11 states over the next 2 weeks.

The ad will be running on national CNN and local NBC affiliates starting today until Monday, December 18th, in the Cincinnati, Memphis, Bentonville, Washington D.C., and Tucson media markets, and starting on Friday, will be aired on taxi cab TV’s in San Francisco, Dallas, Sacramento, Las Vegas and Washington D.C.

The script of the spot below.

Spot: “Santa on Strike”

Ho, Ho, NO!

For the first time in history, Santa Claus is on strike.
That’s right, in a letter to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon
Santa Claus explains why he’s on strike,

“Mr. McMillon the elves told me that Walmart, America’s largest retailer, does not pay its workers holiday pay. Well, no holiday pay, no sleigh.”

Santa on strike.
Christmas at risk.

All because Walmart refuses to pay its workers holiday pay.
So, tell Walmart, give holiday pay and help save Christmas!

# # #

 Facts on Walmart’s Holiday Pay and Paid Time Off Policy:

  • In a 2014 statement, Walmart estimated that it will spend more than $70 million in holiday pay for its hourly store associates that year.
  • Walmart eliminated holiday pay in 2016, replacing it with a policy where workers accrue paid time off based on hours worked.
  • Under this policy, a new part-time Walmart worker has to work 43.33 hours to get just one paid hour off, which could take weeks to accrue given Walmart’s inconsistent scheduling.
  • Holiday pay, for those who work on the holiday, typically includes a premium above and beyond what they are paid hourly. And, in the case of many union retail workers, they are given holiday pay even if they don’t work that day.

Facts on MCAW’s 2017 Holiday Initiative:

  • MCAW’s 2017 holiday campaign is focused on having Walmart restore holiday pay for its 1.5 million workers.
  • For the first series of holiday actions, MCAW, workers, turkeys, activists and allies gathered near Walmart locations in 7 cities across 6 states to pass out informational flyers on Walmart’s ‘no holiday pay’ policy over the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • The campaign also released a national 30-second ad during the week leading up to Thanksgiving and during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on local NBC affiliates in the Madison, Cincinnati, Phoenix, and Sacramento media markets.