Walmart workers strike today, as report says women hardest hit by retail's low wages

June 4, 2014 | | Cleveland Plain Dealer |

Women are disproportionately impacted by the low wages and the often erratic work schedules in the retail industry, says a new report.

The report by Demos, a progressive New York-based think tank, ties into themes being raised today as Walmart workers go on one-day strikes in 20 cities across the country. In Cleveland, workers aren't scheduled to walk off the job from the world's largest retailer, but strikes are planned for Dayton and Cincinnati.

The need for higher pay and more routine schedules are among the issues being raised by the strikers, but the issue of gender is becoming an increasing undercurrent. Workers dubbing themselves as "Walmart moms" have demonstrated in several U.S. cities, including Phoenix. Walmart moms say they intend to demonstrate Friday at the company's shareholders meeting at the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.

Amy Traub, a Demos senior policy analyst, who authored the report released Monday, said the typical woman working in retail makes $10.58 an hour, about $4 less than her male counterpart.