Walmart walkout protests are reportedly growing as the day many employees are calling “Black Thursday” approaches. The Making Change at Walmart website claims that 1,000 protests during the Thanksgiving evening and Black Friday 2012 sales will occur around the country. Warehouse and store employees reportedly walked off the job on Wednesday in Southern California.
The employee protests reportedly stem from angst about working on Thanksgiving and not being able to enjoy the holiday with loved ones, according to Fox News. A strike at the Los Angeles Walmart in October spread to strikes in a dozen other cities. Workers are expected to protest for better pay, affordable health care, and fairer schedules on the busiest shopping day of the year.
A press release about the Walmart walkout from the Making Change organization reads:
“Walmart workers from cities across the country announced that these strikes are the first of 1000 protests, including more strikes, rallies and online actions, at Walmart stores leading up to and on Black Friday. Workers announced upcoming strikes and protests in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Washington D.C., as well as workers walking off the job in Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Minnesota. The group held off announcing the specific dates of the protest out of concern that Walmart would use it as an opportunity to try to silence the workers’ voices.”
The major retailer is also allegedly raising health insurance premiums next year. The Making Change at Walmart website also reports that employee insurance healthcare costs will increase up to 36 percent next year. The worker-support group also maintains that 1.4 million employees and their families are already uninsured and utilize “costly public healthcare programs” for their medical needs.