Local News

Walmart protests grow amid Black Friday shopping frenzy

Posted November 23, 2012

— Walmart workers across the country were walking off the job on Black Friday to join protests demanding higher wages, cheaper benefits and better treatment from the retail giant.

At a Walmart in Durham, more than 100 protesters gathered in the parking lot outside the store, chanting slogans and passing out fliers to draw attention to their cause. They were not employees but shoppers and neighbors sympathetic to minimum-wage workers. Groups from Durham Mennonite Church, Triangle Jobs with Justice, Corporate Action Network and the Raging Nannies participated.

The nannies communicated their concern in song. "Walmart stores are ruining our town," they sang.

Others made the same message clear in a more serious tone.

"If people use this day to boycott Walmart and shop at other retailers who treat their employees fairly, we hope that will get through to the Walmart managers and owners who are profiting at the expense of their workers," said Caitlyn Thomson.

Police were keeping a watchful eye on the protesters after they were moved back from the store's property. The crowd chanted various slogans, including: "What's outrageous? Walmart wages."

“It’s the biggest shopping day of the year for retailers. I think it’s an optimum time to remind people that there are human faces and lives behind the check-out counter here, and that they are not getting a day off, unlike most of the shoppers here,” said Spencer Bradford, a pastor with Durham Mennonite Church. “Some of them didn’t even get a day off on Thanksgiving.”

Joining the trend of stores opening before the traditional Black Friday shopping rush, Walmart opened at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving. A company spokesperson said the retailer is responding to consumer demand and called the protests a union-backed publicity stunt.

In California, Walmart employee Greg Fletcher joined others who walked of the job. He said he’s worked at the store for six years and makes $10.70 an hour.

“Unfortunately, for my wife and two kids, we can’t afford the benefits package from Walmart,” he said. “If we bought it, we couldn’t afford a roof over our heads. So, it’s frustrating.”

The protesters’ demands include a minimum wage of $13 an hour.
 

312 Comments

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  • kermit60 Nov 26, 2:15 p.m.

    He said he’s worked at the store for six years and makes $10.70 an hour. And in those six years what has he done to improve himself so he can get a higher paying job? He is being paid what he was promised.

  • Soleil Nov 23, 7:57 p.m.

    "Soleil - "WalMart couldn't have planned and paid for a better ad campaign than what the unions provided for free."

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    ----
    Heuman Bean November 23, 2012 5:36 p.m

    "ROFLOL

    Walmart DID plan it; that's why Walmart filed for an injunction to stop the union's protest just the week before Black Friday, an injunction that the judge denied, but few had heard about the union's planned protest until Walmart filed for the injunction.

    HA HA HA

    You were duped, and so were many more - just like Walmart planned you'd be.

    Now do you really think you can trust them?"

    ____________________________________________________________
    ____

    That's simply not true. No one was duped except maybe you duped yourself by not paying attention. The intent for the union and a few employees to disrupt WalMart's sales for Thanksgiving Day was all over the news two or three days before WalMart filed for the injunction.

  • happilynow Nov 23, 7:57 p.m.

    Clickhere: It is a dark day when someone labels children as an "inconsideration". Shame.

  • Dynol Yn Cael Ei Nov 23, 7:50 p.m.

    hjgpoole - "Walmart is one of the few that does offer partime Associates health care after they have worked there a bit longer than a fulltime Associate."

    One has to work an average of 24 hours per week to qualify. Few part-time employees do at Walmart.

    "Hourly Associates both part time and fulltime have a very good chance at bonuses quarterly."

    Yearly, after the inventory is done, not quarterly.

    "Associates parttime and fulltime get holiday pay if they work their schedule and sometimes they are off the holiday and sometimes they work ..."

    You're dreaming.

  • Dynol Yn Cael Ei Nov 23, 7:45 p.m.

    rushbot - "...Keeping their underprivileged children robbing you or me? or selling drugs to yours or my children? it wont work, its a cycle and it needs to end."

    Did you not?

    You also said, "I concur."

  • rushbot Nov 23, 7:38 p.m.

    Heuman Bean - rushbot - "How can they be parents and teach their children right from wrong? Keeping their underprivileged children robbing you or me? or selling drugs to yours or my children? it wont work, its a cycle and it needs to end." . . I concur."

    So you think poor people are crooked people or are bad parents?

    No wonder this world bites big ones.

    Some of the finest parents and most honest people I've ever known have been poor dirt farmers.

    Some of the worst parents I've ever met have been rich folks whose careers or personal concerns were more important to them than their children, so they let them be raised by others."

    I don't believe I said that.

  • hjgpoole Nov 23, 7:33 p.m.

    Some of you really need to find a different article to bounce comments on. Walmart is one of the few that does offer partime Associates health care after they have worked there a bit longer than a fulltime Associate. Hourly Associates both part time and fulltime have a very good chance at bonuses quarterly. Associates parttime and fulltime get holiday pay if they work their schedule and sometimes they are off the holiday and sometimes they work ... people shop, Walmart is retail so it is a supply and demand type setup as with ALL sucessful companies. It is people that make comments, protest, create scenes and other issues that do not work for Walmart that have caused the Associates more issues than any other factor. Granted some Associates are disgruntled ... show me a work place that this never happens.

  • Bartmeister Nov 23, 7:31 p.m.

    Good job protesters. I am a bit disappointed at the small turnout but it is a start. I suggest the Wal-Mart parking lots be occupied by the employees.
    piene2

    ===================================

    It is................................ after hours with a case of beer!!! Occupy. seems I heard that last year. Right right, Occupy wall street. Yep, that went well...........Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!

  • storchheim Nov 23, 7:24 p.m.

    "the allure of a trip to Walmart..."

    Priceless

  • Dynol Yn Cael Ei Nov 23, 7:24 p.m.

    "The real problem is that Wal-Mart is losing shoppers, and store traffic is down. People don't want to buy the bundled four-pack of air fresheners, for example, even though they are a better deal per unit. Instead, they just want to buy a single can for even less money.

    Shoppers have turned to dollar stores and grocery stores for many of those single-unit household items, including detergent and tissues."

    http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post.aspx?post=1a9c5989-0de1-4ac3-ba50-9c814c981120

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