The 60-year-old has been employed at a Walmart in Evergreen Park, Illinois for the past eight years. Givens-Thomas earns $11 an hour, but still relies on foot pantries and stuggles to pay bills, reports the Huffington Post.
The petition reads in part:
The day President Obama was inaugurated I, like many others, felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and hope. As a 60-year-old African American woman who marched with Martin Luther King Jr., I felt like we were closer to realizing King’s dream of good jobs and freedom.
Today, we may not have segregation by law, but we have it in practice thanks to the economic realities of our country. For people regardless of race or upbringing to sit at the same lunch counter, they have to be able to afford the same lunch.
Givens-Thomas is calling on Obama to “make good on [his] promise to stand up for working people.”
The petition was posted just a day after Walmart employees in Los Angeles went on a two day strike, calling for better wages and the right to unionize.
As of Friday afternoon, the petition had over 4,700 signatures of the 5,000-signature goal.
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.