Thanksgiving is just a distant memory with Black Friday and the holiday shopping season getting into high gear. Black Friday is known best as one day in which the large retailers, mainly the big box stores haul in loads of money.
However, the day has also become a time for some employees of those big box retailers to demand a share of those proceeds.
At Walmart, the protests scheduled for Black Friday will be the biggest and widest reaching to date say organizers, with strikes and pickets taking place at more than 1,699 stores across 49 states as a reminder to shoppers that those serving them cannot afford to buy food for themselves.
One employee at Walmart in Alexandria, Virginia who is a single mom and 21 earns only $8.40 per hour at Walmart.
She has to use food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing to make ends meet.
She said Walmart should give employees a raise to $15 per hour and let employees work a full 40 hours per week. She said that would change the lives of many, not make her dependent upon the government and give her the opportunity to buy clothes for her children.
The largest employer in the nation, Walmart employs over 1.4 million people equal to about 10% of the entire number of retail workers. In annual profits, the company earns more than $16 billion.
Its largest shareholders – Christy, Jim, S. Robson and Alice Walton – are collectively the wealthiest family in the U.S. worth over $145 billion.
However, the company is becoming notorious for paying employees low wages and using schedules that are only part-time hours to avoid offering any workers benefits.
Last year, Congressional Democrats commissioned a report that found each Walmart store is costing taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.75 million each year due to so many of its employees being forces to use government aid.
The group behind the protests on Black Friday, Our (Organization for Respect) Walmart, was founded back in 2011 to take a new approach to improving the labor conditions at Walmart.
Instead of trying to overcome the tactics of union busting by Walmart, the organization focuses on shaming the company publicly through a PR campaign that is relentless with huge demonstrations.
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