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Workers, Labor Activists Hold Black Friday Protest at Laurel Walmart

Protestors called the store out for what they consider low wages and poor treatment of employees.

A group of activists and employees of the Laurel/Maryland City Walmart Supercenter took to the store's parking lot Friday morning as part of a national strike effort timed for one of the year's busiest shopping days.

Across the country, workers from dozens of the chain's locations spent Black Friday protesting what they view as low wages, poor scheduling practices, and intimidation on the part of the retail giant.

DCist reports that 400-odd people joined a demonstration outside Walmart's Laurel store, one of several held in the region. Many carried signs, distributed leaflets, and sang modified Christmas carols in the vein of “I Saw Walmart Fire Santa Claus," according to The Nation.

The campaign is organized by Making Change at Walmart and linked with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

Walmart has characterized the effort as an attempt by unions to advance their own political agendas, arguing that it treats and compensates its employees well. In a statement released Friday, the retailer also questioned estimates by labor officials on the scale of the protests.

Did you encounter any of the Walmart protests on Friday? How do you feel about them? Let us know in the comments.

Bonnie Oskvarek November 24, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Walmart is consistenly the lowest priced store for almost any product. Employees are free to leave if they are unhappy with their treatment. Unions will only increase the prices for everything as they have done in every industry in this country, making it even more difficult for the many working poor. The "worst" treated employee in this country is far better off than the "best" treated in many other countrys around the world. I'm wary of the entitlement attitude towards jobs...they are a priviledge...not a right. Please leave the Wal-Mart organization alone!
John Floyd II November 24, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Quite right! The Walmartians are bloody lucky to be working at all in this horrid economy and worsening hard times!
Michael Riggs November 24, 2012 at 05:05 PM
If the most we can expect from the largest retail business in the world is "lowest prices everyday," then we are getting what we deserve. It is a race to the bottom of the drain...on our economy that is. Rescue the middle-class and save our communities by demanding fair wages and benefits for Walmart employees!
Margaret Miller November 24, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Hey Michael....If they don't like the package they are getting, you know, the one they agreed to when they took the job, then they are free to go find a job someplace else. Geeze Louise, with a 7.8% unemployment rate they ought to be happy to have a job!
Polly November 25, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Absolutely agree! And I know from personal experience how well compensated those UFCW Local 400 employees are paid. Nothing comes without a price. If the only job you can get is at Walmart whose fault is that? In retail you could go many more places if that's what you want to do. I can't stand unions and I'm a Democrat, as I've seen the abuses up close and personal.

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