Workers are planning Black Friday protests at Wal-Mart stores again this year, despite the retailer’s move to boost wages, staging demonstrations to advocate for a $15 an hour wage and holding fasts. One protest, led by a former United Food and Commercial Workers International Union employee for a group called OUR Walmart (no longer backed by the union) says the protest will run 15 days up to Thanksgiving.
The huge shopping day has long been an opportunity taken by organized labor and other worker groups to draw attention to wages and working conditions at Wal-Mart.
The retailer dismissed the planned protests as “false attacks and media stunts.”
Black Friday protests at Wal-Mart stores have become something of a Thanksgiving tradition for years.
Workers from such groups as OUR Walmart, which is led by a former United Food and Commercial Workers International Union employee but which isn’t formally a union itself, and labor unions take advantage of the record number of shoppers that show ups to stores to shop during the day. It’s an opportunity to be seen by thousands of people. And the huge shopping day provides a contrasting backdrop for workers who say their wages are inadequate to make a living and their working conditions prevent them from getting enough hours.
The protests also show that Wal-Mart will continue to see demands from workers despite its hourly wage raise slated for next year. That move will cost the company a billion dollars, the company says, yet will still fail to provide a living wage in many areas.