With America geared for the biggest shopping event, Walmart employees and their supporters are preparing to stage one of the biggest protests on Black Friday.
Aggrieved Walmart employees are expected to stage demonstrations in front of more than 1,600 Walmart stores as the retailer unleashes its doorbuster deals early on Black Friday.
Employees and other community leaders started a fast at noon on Thanksgiving Day and will carry on the protests until the end of Black Friday. Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Sacramento are some of the areas that are expected to see large protesting crowds.
Walmart employees and other labor unions have been pushing for an increase in their minimum wage pay. Workers want $15 per hour and are demanding the retailer provide them a full-time, consistent job. Supporters are reportedly calling on Walmart and its owners, The Walton family, "to stop hurting families" and oblige with a minimum-wage hike.
Walmart's part-time job business model has been ridiculed for being hollow. Gawker media even called Walmart "retail purgatory" after it published some horrific stories about working there earlier last year.
Employees feel overworked, disrespected and underpaid at Walmart and even though the retailer makes more than $16 billion every year, employees are averagely paid less than $25,000 a year, some authorities said. They have also accused the retailer of subduing employees who rightfully speak up for their rights.
Walmart has vehemently denied all the accusations adding they have done everything they can to keep workers happy. The retailer also claimed that the wages it pays are "competitive" and are therefore, undisputable.
The Black Friday protests will be the biggest Walmart demonstration since the July protests this year. But Walmart is not threatened.
Walmart spokesperson said that the protests are expected and not many Walmart employees will participate in them. The company's stellar educational benefits, training programs, 401 (K) benefits and recently upgraded protection for pregnant workers are much appreciated by the employees.
The spokesperson added that the protests will most likely draw crowds from local unions and other supermarket employees, Times Picayune reported.