Walmart Workers Walk Out, Plan Black Friday Protest

Chain insists protestors represent a very small portion of its workforce

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 16, 2012 9:24 AM CST | Updated Nov 18, 2012 1:17 PM CST

(Newser) – Workers at a number of Walmart stores walked out yesterday, in the first salvo of a larger series of strikes planned in response to the retailing giant's plan to begin its Black Friday festivities on Thanksgiving. At least 30 workers at six Seattle-area stores went on strike yesterday, the Guardian reports. That may not sound like much, but organizers expect 1,000 separate protests to occur on Black Friday, they tell CNN Money.

The Black-Friday protest comes on the heels of a string of strikes last month, and another strike remains ongoing at part of Walmart's warehouse supply chain in California. Workers are upset about a host of issues, including low pay, too few hours, and alleged retaliation against workers who speak their minds. Walmart says the strikers represent a tiny portion of its 1.3 million-strong workforce, but labor experts say the protest could still prove significant. "Their campaign in front of stores could discourage shoppers," one points out.

In this Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 photo a woman pushes a shopping cart away from the entrance of a Walmart store in North Kingstown, RI.
In this Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 photo a woman pushes a shopping cart away from the entrance of a Walmart store in North Kingstown, RI.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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