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Black Friday Strike: Walmart Workers Walk Out In Seven States

Walmart employees strike in seven states

You’ve probably heard whispers regarding a Black Friday strike by unhappy Walmart workers on the busiest shopping day of America. It’s more than a rumor, with Walmart employees now protesting in seven states as of this posting.

Black Friday started earlier than usual this year, with Walmart stores across the country opening their door-buster deals at 8 pm yesterday (on Thanksgiving). While most Americans were recovering from an afternoon of turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and football, Walmart workers were donning their khaki pants and navy blue shirts and getting ready to punch in for a hectic shift.

Rumor had it that strikes and labor actions had been planned over two days at roughly 1,000 Walmart stores around the country. Walmart workers in the Dallas, Miami, and San Francisco area were planning on walking off work and striking early Thursday evening, protesting low wages, lack of benefits, and a perceived pattern of corporate retaliation against organizational efforts.

Using the nation spotlight that Black Friday affords, striking Walmart employees hoped to sway shoppers to their side.

“We have to show people that we’re not just a crazy bunch of protesters,” said a Wheatland, Texas Walmart employee.

Black Friday strikes have been promised for Chicago, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Washington, D.C., and states including Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Minnesota. “This is a new permanent reality for Walmart,” said one Walmart employee advocate. “2012 is the beginning of the season where retail workers are going to start to stand up.”

“There’s going to be more days that we’re going to strike,” said one Miami striker, “and it’s not going to stop. I’m not going to stop until they respect us and give us what we want.”

The Nation reports that Walmart workers are on strike in Dallas, though a crowd was dispersed by police. Walmart workers walked off the job in Kenosha, Wisconsin and say that managers mistakenly kicked out shoppers that they thought were protestors. San Leandro, California and Clovis, New Mexico also has Walmart workers on strike. Stores in Ocean City, Maryland; Orlando, Florida; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana each have a single worker out on strike.

In St. Cloud, Florida, Walmart associate Lisa Lopez was joined by Congressman-Elect Alan Grayson as she walked out on strike.

Concerning Walmart’s “retaliation” on their striking workers, one official told The Huffington Post: “Each store has an individualized plan of how they will get customers in and out of stores and deal with large crowds. If a walkout does happen at an individual store, the store management will judge that on a case-by-case basis. We think there are going to be so few of these it’s best to be handled individually.”

What do you think of the Black Friday Walmart strike? There’s certainly a lot to unpack here, from Walmart’s Thursday night early opening and fair wages for employees to how realistic unionization for employees could be and whether they should just be grateful for a job in the first place. What do you think? Who’s right, and who’s wrong?

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141 Responses to “Black Friday Strike: Walmart Workers Walk Out In Seven States”

  1. Mark Miller

    Wal-Mart has had a steady decline in dealing with employees since Sam Walton died. It was once a popular place to work, that gave fair wage and good benefits but now it is the leader in brutal tactics and thuggish policies. It happened at the beginning of the last century and is repaeting itself now. The average worker is tired of Rockefeller and Carnegie getting rich on their broken backs and it is time to return to the first ideals of Union and break up these lords of capital and return the rightful age of the working man again. The rpoblem is in finding a Teddy Roosevelt of this age to stand against the all mighty corporations and champion the people. I am willing to follow but someone needs to lead.

  2. Mike DeRose

    who the fuck cares, go get a real job you retard fucking assholes. You shop at walmart and you get shit on the cheap. They unionize the prices go up. You say you don`t shop there, then dhut the fuck up and mind your business! psfu

  3. Sherry Sarfati

    With this economy, there are plenty of people eager for the jobs they vacate.

  4. Mike Taylor

    Only if they're ignorant of how Walmart actively disrespects its workers.

  5. Eric Land

    I hope they are all fired. If you want a better paying job , get a education. If Walmart employees start making $13 the price inside walmart will be along the line of Macy's. Then guess what 1/2 of you dumb@$$'s will be let go and be collecting unemployment. Look what happened to the economy when the min wage went up to $7 , Look at what happened to the price of fast food it almost doubled! That's right Strike and unionize and sit at home while others fill your spots in the store. I guess they didn't learn from the Hostess strike did they, now they are unemployed. While the people at the top of that union are living high on the hog and still making money , Check thier wages against the owners of the companies they extort LMAO.

  6. Brett Deveau

    Walmart took care of my sister back in the early 90's she used the stock they gave her to pay for college. Unfortunately for the striking Walmart employees they are defined as Mcjobs. With the unemployment rate being 8% give or take, and the real unemployment rate being closer to 15% in some areas. Walmart probably has enough leverage to fire them all and hire new people. I worked at Target for a short time, I loved what they defined as bowling but by no means would I consider working in the store skill labor. I would use it as a stepping stone for a solid customer service job, it shows you can put up with John Q public, the people that work those jobs get shit on.

  7. Mark Riley

    I guess you can't or don't read. Even Fox Business said the union had NOTHING to do with Hostess going under. It was incompetent management. Forbes also said the same thing. Moron managers are trying to blame one of the companies unions for their 30 year slide. .. AFTER the management voted themaselves HUGE increases that were rejected by the courts as illegal. oh and by the way genius, the managers are out of work too. Wait til THEY find that even Slave Mart won't hire them. I love how you're the VICE PRESIDENT of a rinky dink HVAC company. SO what you get apaid 2 dollars above minimum wage ? Or does daddy just have you on the payroll so he can write off your allowance ?

  8. Jonathan David Sarfati

    Really? Evidently not compared to the disrespect of alternatives to working at Walmart. Walmart can't do a single thing to make someone work there, or make me buy there for that matter.

  9. Sherry Sarfati

    With this economy, there are plenty of people eager to fill the jobs they vacate.

  10. Jonathan David Sarfati

    [In response to a comment subsequently withdrawn asserting how much Walmart disrespects its employees] Really? Evidently not compared to the disrespect of alternatives to working at Walmart. Walmart can't do a single thing to make someone work there, or make me buy there for that matter. Also, Walmart has done far more for poor Americans than all the government programs such as food stamps, by enabling their dollars to buy more things http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/13/AR2006091301573.html

  11. Larry Marttila

    There are other supercenter chains in the Midwest that have a union contract. For having a union contract, they get treated the same as the non union stores in the same chain, but the difference is te union contract workers have to wait longer for raises, they get paid minimum wage to start, and they gave to pay union dues too, even if you are a 16 year old working part time bringing in carts. The unions are big business too. Wish the media would talk about how they take money for kids to have company cars, retreat weekends, expense accounts, etc.

  12. Sherry Sarfati

    AND they have to pay for the "privilege" of being a member of the union.

  13. Jonathan David Sarfati

    [In response to a comment subsequently withdrawn asserting how much Walmart disrespects its employees] Really? Evidently not compared to the disrespect of alternatives to working at Walmart. Walmart can't do a single thing to make someone work there. Evidently people see advantages to working there, because there are about 70 applicants for every job opening. If the argument is that people have no choice but to work there or starve, Walmart didn't create the hunger, but provides an extra choice for alleviating that hunger.

    Also, people shop at Walmart because they choose to. They can do nothing to make me shop there if I don't want to, and in most cases I prefer Publix. But Walmart has done far more for poor Americans than all the government programs such as food stamps, by enabling their dollars to buy more things http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/13/AR2006091301573.html

  14. Barbara Vick

    Retail jobs have never been highly paid. And the hours have always included evenings, weekends and holidays. This is nothing new. And Walmat is not the only retailer. If you want better wages, get some/more education or vocational training. I suspect Walmart is being targeted in particular by the unions because of it's sheer size; unions want more control and political clout. Walmart would be a real coup.

  15. Sherry Sarfati

    Absolutely. That's why they have been busing in "protester" shills to make the crowds look bigger, and gain media attention. Plus if it looks like a big crowd, they'll attract the "me too" sheep.

  16. Melanie Marie Smith

    When people go to work for a company…. whether it be Wal=Mart, 7-Eleven, or any other business that is open on holidays, they know that these companies are in operation and they may or may not be off on that day. Knowing this when you take the job, you are accepting these terms of work, and to change your mind means that you are in a sense breaking your work agreement and you may lose your job on the grounds of failure to perform. These people just want to work when it is convenient for them. I am sorry… but strikes, picketing, walk-outs and unions don't work, if you think they do… ask the Hostess employees how their holiday is going this year. Do I sound unsympathetic…. well probably because I am!

  17. Chuck Pickard

    They had a lady florida who walked out because she was only making 11.90 an hour. really? That's pretty damn good money for retail. I highly doubt she'll find another job making that much money for baking. The unions see this as an opportunity to collect more dues. Lets see how much these unions care when the people get fired from their 11.90 an hour jobs. If my employees would have walked of their jobs on the busiest day of the year, I'd have fired them on the spot.

  18. Holt Andrus

    I don't think the issue is working on Black Friday-the issue are wages so low you can barely make ends meet, and being treated second class-while the Walton family is one of the most sickeningly rich families on the planet. People can afford to pay a few more cents at Walmart to afford these people some dignity.

  19. Holt Andrus

    Honestly, the comments posted on here are too much. We have never had such a ridiculous division of wealth in this country. People are hardly able to make ends meet-they are hardly asking too much. And, yes, Walmart provides jobs. It also destroys jobs when it puts small businesses out of business because they can't compete-those same small businesses would be more likely to create higher paying jobs in their communities.

  20. Melanie Marie Smith

    Well Debbie… is Apple union? How about Foxconn in China that makes all of Apple internal parts or pay their employees a dollar a day and employees child labor? I haven't seen any one boycotting Apple yet…. Oh, wait, that's right liberals like Apple so they will just over look them!

  21. Melanie Marie Smith

    Holt Andrus – If you have seen the news or read any articles it all seems to be about working on Black Friday…. Not even Thanksgiving for that matter and it says nothing about wages.

  22. Mark Miller

    As a former employee who once had stock options, decent wage and benefits I can say from the inside it was better with Sam incharge now with the uber-rich Walton second gen things are more like serf and noble; work my land or starve, choice of evils is no choice at all. Yes I could shop there maybe because I might have to because they and every other big box have strong armed every small business out of business. It's nice when the suit and ties can say well its not our fault for making money but when you hurt your workers and middle class income that has to support you it doesn't take a genius to see that in the end it will kill our economy. The fact is that you just don't care as long as you get yours.

  23. Tj Grundy

    I work for walmart and managers are rude demean you in front of other employees and customers. The health insurance can only be used at walmart an .i.
    think if you pay for

    something you should be able to use it any where. And to be greatful for a job yes but not be treated like we should put up with being disespected and secound class citizens. If I wasn't for us so call peons there wouldnt be a walmart were are back bone of the company. Listen to the employees makes a much better company and better workers. Port Charlotte fl.

  24. Rob Stanford

    Melanie – You are completely clueless as to what this is all about, maybe you should actually read the articles about the strikes. The only connection to the holiday was it was the time to get the most notice and create the biggest impact. The issue is and always has been wages, policies and general employee treatment.

  25. Jonathan David Sarfati

    It wouldn't be the first time that the second generation is spoiled and knows nothing of the hard work and good treatment of workers that built the company. The same is true of the Rockefellers. It is still a mistake to say that workers have no choice but work there or starve. Walmart didn't create the conditions where starvation was the only alternative. Unions have done a lot to bankrupt companies that might have provided alternative employment. These Walmart employees can't seek alternative at Hostess, for example. Obamovcare and the highest corporate tax rate in the world are preventing other companies from hiring. The best protection for workers is other employers, but the current administration is hindering them.

  26. Chris Brack

    I could get behind this movement if we were in communist China and there was a gun pointed to these folks head and they were forced to work there. I am not a fan of wall mart and it has been a mighty long time since ive given them a dime of my hard earned cash, but my problem with them is for far different reasons. Businesses are able to stay open only if they are making a profit. That is a fact and like it or not…the way it is.The only organization that can continually run on a deficit is the government. If these folks don't like what is going on they are free to find somewhere more akin to their needs. Or…… Start their own company that they can run any way they see fit….. OR……. Learn to deal with what it is like to work for someone else. If 1/2 of the people that hate and complain about good ole WallyWorld would stop shopping there, that would be what a company pays attention to. If a company is not making a profit, then they have to assess the situation and find out why. Then they must decide if they want to make the changes need to stay in business or close the doors. We the people have the power….. The power of the purse…..

  27. Sherry Sarfati

    Mark Miller Actually, I very, very rarely shop WM, but that's due to the bad customer service. People can go elsewhere if they are miserable there, and I stand by my original point that there are people who would be glad for a job, any job, because they want to work.

    But it's pretty much a moot point, since reportedly only about 50 people across the nation (about the same that missed scheduled shifts last year) actually walked out, while the rest were bused-in union shills to gain media attention. In the end, WM is reporting best Black Friday ever.

  28. Sherry Sarfati

    According to reports, 50 people walked out of their jobs. #Fail

  29. Tina Everts

    Oh you mean like the republicans did for their campaign rallies? The people out with the picketing workers were union people who are volunteering their time to show support. This started in the warehouses, working in 120 degree temperatures with no water or safety equipment. The store workers walked to show support. The waltons have more NET income than the bottom 40 percent of this country. They can afford more and it wouldn't cost the consumer even the cost of a candy bar.

  30. Anonymous

    WRONG!!!! Working at Walmart is barely better than sitting at home and drawing welfare for doing nothing… Walmart will soon be just like every McDonalds, full of stupid teenagers who can't count change back for a dollar, but will work part time for gas and date money….

  31. Patrick Kwiatkowski

    I agree 100%. Compounded that most Wal Mart employee's are kept under the poverty line which forces families to get goverment assisiance and in turn hurts the economy. The whole, "you don't have to work there and unions hurt our country" is crazy talk. Unions are for better living and without them we would be still working 100 hrs a week for pennies a day 7 days a week. People died to get better working conditions and better pay for everyone who has ever had a job. PERIOD!!!

  32. Patrick Kwiatkowski

    Debbie, that closes the argument. Great points and that wasn't the reason they walked out. Its for a little more money an hr and not having to pay 120 dollars a week on insurance that they can only use with wal mart. If you work there and you make 10 dollars an hr, that should be 400 dollars a week. Minus 100 dollars on taxes is 300. Now would you like to eat or be insured?? 120 dollars a week for insurance leaves you with 180 dollars a week. How do you survive on 720 dollars a month? 8640 dollars a year….. The United States poverty line in 2010 was just over 11,000 dollars. People can make a little more and pay half for insurance and wal mart will still go to sleep every night a TRILLIONAIR.

  33. Hildy Krish

    I work for the competition and was just strange that we closed for 4 hours and then re opened. Should have stayed open. Not wild about working on thanksgiving in the first place but is a new reality unfortunately. the holiday season gets closer and closer to when the kids go back to school now. In some cases it wasn't even halloween when they got the christmas items up. Used to be day after thanksgiving when you'd see anything about christmas. That is the way it should be. It gets downright depressing in general seeing that stuff in October. Becomes anti climactic by the time the season truly gets here.

  34. Angie Burns

    As an ex walmart associate I just want to say for those people that don't like it leave. This job had me stressed out so bad I had to seek counsoling. Granted in my small town making $9.95 and hr was very good for a single mother with an 11th grade education. I had benifits both medical and dental. Its not the corporations fault. They have more things they need to pay for then what some people realize. The costomers are the reason I was stressed. They pay your wages and there open door policies work as long as the Management is not corupt. Take your issues as hi up as need be until they get worked out. A union is a bad idea its just one more thing is going to be taking your money. In the end you may get more money but that union due still has to be paid. So be carefulo what you wish for you may just get it.

  35. Hildy Krish

    used to love the fact that things were made in the usa but once sam walton died that ceased to be. I rarely shop at walmart and I continue to practice this because I dislike what has happened to that store.

  36. Hildy Krish

    unions are why this country is going downhill. The union bosses get richer and the average worker earns less. This is why american made products are getting fewer and fewer. It is more expensive to have things made here especially with all of the rules and regulations that have to be followed. We have become such a throwaway society. Nothing gets fixed or repaired anymore because it is just cheaper to buy a new one.

  37. Glenn E Owens

    Are you calling all the Stock holders like me a Walton??, lol, learn who really owns company's before you speak, yes the union wants in wal-mart, that way prices will skyrocket and the customer will pay the price lining the pockets of the union thugs, Chicago mafia. at its best. unions have killed most all industries in the USA so they are going after the retailers which is about all that's left.

  38. Tom McCarty

    well said and agree completely! UNION YES! we just need people to stand up to all corporations and let them know we don't need them: they need us! people are just too lazy to stand up with our fellow man.

  39. Anne Wright

    You need to bone up on your history, specifically union history. Yes, a lot of what you are saying is true, but why is that? Union employees have not had a say in where the owners of company place that company to manufacture goods, the stockholders and owners have the only say in that decision. And why are they running overseas with those jobs? Because they want to make a product as cheaply as possible. No safety regulations in third world countries, and no backlash if a worker gets hurt, because there are plenty more workers to replace that one. No benefits, because there is no union to make sure the employees are treated fairly if they do lose that job. Low pay, because any pay is more than they had before. Add to that the fact that the US has more than 75% of the world's lawyers, and maybe you begin to understand why this country is in such dire straits!

  40. Jae F Respass

    I make less than that. Most people that work at Walmart make above minimum wage. Not much but still higher. I make $7.50 an hour which is federal minimum wage. I'd love to make $11.90 an hour. People need to count their blessings more and stop envying others. You can live on $11.90 an hour easily.

  41. Anne Wright

    Melanie, you need to wake up and pay attention to the news, real news. The Hostess people had already taken a pay cut (down to minimum wage), and the company wanted more from them. And the Walmart people want fair pay (a living wage, perhaps?), benefits, things that a lot of people in this country take for granted in a job. They aren't protesting working holidays, they are protesting Walmart's greed and their mistreatment of the workers. Most Walmart workers work part-time because that way the company does not have to pay benefits. Some work long hours, and they don't get holiday pay, or weekend pay, or overtime pay. Are you going to go work for them? I thought not!

  42. Jae F Respass

    I agree. I also am an ex walmart associate. I was working overnight making $9.20 an hour and that paid my bills. I had to leave due to some personal issues but I never had a problem with management. I dont understand why more employees dont just quit if they're unhappy. That's essentially what they did anyway…

  43. Eava Brandy Ryan

    what's so wrong with greed? people saying that the walton family is beyond rich and it is their duty to pay more… really? It is not anyone's duty to help support another; people are responsible for themselves. It's their business, their prerogative to offer what they want. people accept it. wal mart has done quite enough for the poor in my opinion.

  44. Meghan Usrey

    yeah it is excepted that you work on holidays, I have to work all of them. The problem is wages suck, they work you up to full time hours while keeping you at half time employee position; because they don't want to hire people to full time positions because they then have to give you benefits for the "extra hours". And they don't like to comply with their workers needs.

  45. Jae F Respass

    Anne Wright If you want living wage then petition the government to raise minimum wage. Most of those people make twice what I make and I make minimum wage. If you dont like the job, find a new one (good luck with that) Some of us are content with being grateful ith what we do have instead of crying like infants.

  46. Jae F Respass

    Walmart has a policy that even if you get hurt depending on what the injury is they will move you somewhere else and make exceptions and allowances. They pay you the same. I know this from personal experience. If you cant work, they also follow rules abut worker compensation. I never had a problem working there.

  47. Cassandra Newsome Ribeiro

    All walmarts are different! The walmart that I currently work at isn't a bad place to work. Our managers aren't disrespectful and they don't down us in front of others. Walmart as a company hasn't done anything to demean anyone! It's the people that work at the specific stores. You can't honestly blame Wal-Mart for what individuals do. I knew when I started at Wal-Mart what I would be paid and my benefits and that they are only closed on Christmas Day! If I didn't like all that when I got the job offer I would have just said no! But I need a job and it pays the bills

  48. Angie Burns

    With the economy the way things are there are Millions of unemployed people in this Country and they can and WILL TAKE YOUR JOBS

  49. Monica Alcantara

    I agree, Melanie. It's a free country, companies can operate however they wish. If you don't like it, don't work there and don't shop there. It's simple.

  50. Heather Strozier

    I agree as well. I make just under $9/hr in a similar company (but smaller, we only have stores in a handful of states). Most of the time I get between 35 and 40 hours even tho I'm part time, which is just enough to live on. I wish I could have money to save, but that's why I'm working towards something better. Are there sometimes issues w/management and customers? sure. That's the case with any job in any field tho. We're union, but it's near useless. They take a lot of money and do next to nothing for us. I get decent benefits, all in all the company does take decent care of us. I knew I'd be working holidays when I signed up for this and I'm extremely thankful that my manager has worked with me in the past when I really wanted to go home to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with my family (they live in Indiana, I'm in Ohio) As for black friday, I rather like working it. It makes the day go by faster!

  51. Gigi Ballester

    Sherry Sarfati Hostess excecutives are to blame not the workers. They gave executives exorbitant pay increases and bonuses while cutting salaries and diminishing coverage of health insurance benefits and retirement plans. Google Hostess excecutive pay increases and bonuses. I also have no sympathy for Walmart – their CEO makes more money in hours than most of their emplyees do in a year. They are the lowest paid retail workers.

  52. Kevin Rubio

    no one knows unless you've worked there now they only hire part time and no benefits if they have a full time position then u can get benefits,,they also don't offer a 30 day raise anymore, I understand retail open for the holidays its the way corporate is with policies I love what I do but its def. not the same as when I started 6 years ago

  53. Heather Strozier

    remember to take into account that some places have a higher cost of living. In a good portion of Florida a living wage is $10/hr for 1 adult give or take. So while about $8 is living wage where I'm at in Ohio, in Orange County Florida it's just under $11.

  54. Irene Varela

    Not all employees are unhappy u know what u sign up for when u work retail on dys like this mostly managers work and are combasated

  55. Melanie Marie Smith

    Rob Stanford No… I am far from clueless! Wal-Mart has competitive wages… based on experience. Even if you have no experience, your starting pay is above minimum wage. I have many family and friends employed by Wal-Mart and most of them have told me they feel this was started by some pro-union idiot. I understand that there are unions that serve a purpose, but Wal-Mart is employee owned. Every employ has the option to by stock. If you want to talk union… lets just look at the 18,500 people who refused to take the 8% pay cut, that they would have gotten back plus some over a 3 year period, but instead the union decided to cut every throat! If you want to know how jobs end up in China and Mexico, this is exactly how it happens.

  56. Melanie Marie Smith

    Meghan Usrey Well to be honest… you can thank Mr. Obama for that! Every company in this country is trying to go strictly part with as many employees as possible thanks to the Obama Care crap that's coming. That is the reason for all the insurance hikes everywhere.

  57. Melanie Marie Smith

    Anne Wright Where I work or have worked is not the issue… but I would gladly work for Wal-Mart any day!

  58. Melanie Marie Smith

    Anne Wright Where I work or have worked is not the issue… but I would gladly work for Wal-Mart any day!

  59. Lauren Skelton-Mount

    Im so tired of hearing about people bashing walmart for opening on thanksgiving. I was at a walmart getting my deals, just like others at Target, Old Navy, Big Lots,Freds,Hhgregg, Lowes,Home Depot,Gordmans,and every other place. The people who work at retail stores know the deal when they accept the job. Why waste peoples time about when they feel like working. There are too many people who will take those jobs in a heart beat. Get over it already

  60. Hazel Damian Andrew

    why attack the union they're fighting for equality, and fair wages..In Walmart case they're worth billions and its a damn shame how they treat their workers, they get away with it because they know some of theses people cannot do any better…Each one of the waltons is worth over 20 billions dollars why the hell they cannot pay their employees what they worth and give them benefits I am never shopping at walmart ever again.

  61. Melanie Marie Smith

    But as for the Hostess Union issue …. Before the strike, Hostess was functioning under 372 collective bargaining agreements, 80 health benefit plans, 40 union pension plans, and last year their business lost $341 million dollars while openly disclosing to the Baker's union that they were going to liquidate if they couldn't get an agreement with them. The union, with average baker making $17.27 an HOUR, refused to take an 8-percent pay cut, with a promise of 9-percent returned in 3-years…as a result, Hostess closed and is now starting liquidation. Amazingly, it took the Wall Street Journal to find all this information, because even with all the whining that the union's and their lovers are spewing, only the BUSINESS representatives would actually quote real numbers!

  62. Matt Marino

    People that work at Walmart made their life this way with bad choices and poor decision making. While i think working on Thanksgiving is wrong so is the decision to work for a company that has a history of controversy. In reality they will just replace those people with lower wages and increase profits more.

  63. Meryl O'Reilly

    Ever since the economy took a huge dump and people began to get laid off, employers learned two things 1. They could increase there profits using less employees to fill the same quotas that previosly and still does require those laid off workers they still wont hire back. 2. They found out the workers they kept would be so grateful for a job still they wouldnt DARE complain about wage cuts, loss of benefits by cutting back hours to less than 40 and the threat off unemplyment if they complained. Since no one did they decided to offer to pay grateful new applicants minimum wage and no benefits. Since they had been without a job for so long they too where willing to be kept living below the poverty level. I think its about damn time people said ENOUGH! Thats what unions are trying to do, NOT shut down companies like hostess, but to see that people make a living wage and are treated fairly. Hostess cut pay and benefits citing declining profits or some shit, but the ceo's ond VP's ALL saw huge salary bumps and end of year bonuses.

  64. Melanie Marie Smith

    Anne Wright let's say you hire a kid to mow your yard in the summer. You offer him $10 a week, to show up every Friday and mow your yard. He accepts. You tell him, if he's late, you will call someone else and not want him back again. He agrees, as do you. All goes well for the first month, he shows up, cuts the grass, and clears the leaves. On the 5th week, he comes by your house, tells you it's hotter than he thought, your yard is bigger than he thought, and that he will need $20 and a pitcher of lemonade from you at the end of today's work…and he won't be able to make it next week, either. You tell him this is unacceptable, that you had discussed your terms before you hired him, and that you are now firing him to get another yard mower. He gets mad, says you are a tyrant, leaves, calls a bunch of his friends and they show up with eggs and signs the next day, picketing your house. You can't get anyone to go against this kid to still mow your yard now, either. What do you do? You call the police…and they take him and his crew away. Sadly, Wal-Mart can't get the union thugs off their front yard, even though no one at Wal-Mart is in a union. You negotiated an acceptable contract with the kid to mow your yard, and then he strong-armed you on increased pay and benefits. When you threatened to fire him, he made it a public scene and made you not only look bad, but prevented you from having your property maintained. You called the law to protect your own rights, the same ones you want to deny Wal-Mart.
    Anne, can I get a job mowing your yard? I'll mow it for $5?

  65. Melanie Marie Smith

    Almost nothing is made in the USA… America and all its work force is being murdered little by little! But hey… let's not blame the government and all the insane taxes… lets blame the companies who struggle to keep their business alive!

  66. Charlotte Quibodeaux

    I understand the employee point of view but so many people need jobs they should be grateful I made it a point not to shop today bit I have had a job where I had to work holidays night's and weekends but my kids came first so stop complaining because they do not care about us u will just lose your job I had a friend work for Walmart 22 yrs and when she had to miss 4 days because of family illness they fired her so people I tell u .u Will be replaced that is just how Walmart is

  67. Melanie Marie Smith

    Glenn E Owens, Well said…. So many of these on here just don't get it!

  68. Wanda Wolfe

    I think Wal-mart company stinks the way the treat there stuff its a bunch of bullshit.I was sick the send me flowers in the hosptail then the wrote me up..I bring in a doctor excess it didn't matter and fired me and the don't tell the truth.it will be judgement day the can't lie to the lord knows the truth! the should be on strike why don't you think all associates never smile that's why!

  69. Ruby Odling

    Look st it this way.you have a job that help put a roof over you head and food on you table. Union are not for the people but tor what they can get out of it.

  70. Jessica M. Brooks

    Wal-mart pays federal minimum wage..note the word FEDERAL. Wal-mart didn't just pick a number to give their workers per hour, the federal government thinks that what they get paid is good enough.

  71. Mary Allen Campbell

    There were several times I had to work on Thanksgiving when I was at Sonic. I never protested. I did my job and took care of my Thanksgiving dinner either before or after work. I was thankful I had a job.

  72. Kathy Brattain

    Walmart is no longer owned or run by the Walton family. Hasn't been for years. There used to be a "token" Walton on the board of directors, but I'm not sure they are there now. Once Sam's wife died and the kids took over, greed set in and they sold out to the Chinese. A ceiling was placed on raises, and wages. People lost their positions, and wages that went with those positions. A person who had 10 yrs experience gets the same raise as one with 1 yr experience. They don't hire full time very often at all so they don't have to provide any benefits such as health care and life insurance and disability coverage. I don't necessarily agree with the idea of striking, but I do understand why they feel they are being short-changed.

  73. Dawn Grounds

    "“There’s going to be more days that we’re going to strike,” said one Miami striker, “and it’s not going to stop. I’m not going to stop until they respect us and give us what we want.”.
    Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/409398/black-friday-strike-walmart-workers-walk-out-in-seven-states/#DxjH9c5rSCGTBVKo.99 ".

    Walmart will never respect you, I know this from doing an excellent job there and not getting respected, cutting full time employees to less than half time hours because they want to save money, do you think the big wigs are getting cut to save money? Yeah right! And getting rid of full time employees because they get benefits is sinful. I wish Sam Walton were still alive. I watched his video when I was hired by walmart and he was a great man that believed in a prosperous career for people at walmart, not a sweatshop!

  74. Kim LaCapria

    That's so sad, Dawn, I never knew too much about Sam Walton, but it sounds from your description like he wouldn't be pleased with the direction of the stores.

  75. Linda Pickard

    I think for the most part they want to earn a livable wage as I am sure you do as well. I work for a grocery store that is union and even I wish I made a livable wage. minimum wage part time does not work to pay the bills.

  76. Laura Wolpert

    @Patrick K. FINALLY a voice of reason! These people who speak so negatively and uneducatedly obviously dont understand Unions.

  77. Heather Morelock

    i dont believe that their employees get paid too little. i was making almost 10 an hour there years ago. my sister in law worked there a few months back and got hired on with no previous employment history for 9. i work at a gas station one of the most dangerous places to work nowadays and make a measly 8 an hour. they need to quit complaining! At least they have a job are making money and can basically support themselves and their own.

  78. Becky Baisden

    I for one think Thanksgiving should be a day off. As far as low wages, and benefits, Walmart is competitive in the wages they offer, they are an open door, non-union company, if you don't like the conditions you are free to quit any time. They offer a benefit package as good as any retail company. Go ahead and try to get better benefits any where. Walk-outs are ineffective. Shoppers make or break a retail company. Encourage friends and family to boycott black Friday. Mr. and Mrs. America need to stop feeding the greed by not shopping for deals on black Friday. It's that simple.

  79. Jonathan David Sarfati

    Wrong yourself! If Walmart really is hardly better than drawing welfare, than that is a serious problem with the welfare system. No decent system should reward non-work. Also, it's a mistake to knock "MacJobs", since they may well give "stupid teenagers" their first real work experience. That way, they learn valuable work skills such as just turning up on time, following instructions, managing money, working as a team, and general shedding of immaturity. From there, they can move on to better and higher paying jobs. Have a look at all successful people who started their work life at Maccas (as we call it in Australia) http://www.fastcompany.com/pics/flipping-burgers-fame-mcdonalds-starters#1. Conversely, prevent this valuable first step—either by union-induced bankruptcies, minimum wage laws, or generous welfare—and high unemployment will be here to stay.

  80. Jonathan David Sarfati

    Wrong yourself! If Walmart really is hardly better than drawing welfare, than that is a serious problem with the welfare system. No decent system should reward non-work. Also, it's a mistake to knock "MacJobs", since they may well give "stupid teenagers" their first real work experience. That way, they learn valuable work skills such as just turning up on time, following instructions, managing money, working as a team, and general shedding of immaturity. From there, they can move on to better and higher paying jobs. Have a look at all the successful people who started their work life at Maccas (as we call it in Australia) http://www.fastcompany.com/pics/flipping-burgers-fame-mcdonalds-starters#1. Conversely, prevent this valuable first step—either by union-induced bankruptcies, minimum wage laws, or generous welfare—and high unemployment will be here to stay.

  81. Nancy Whitmire Johnson

    I totally agree with Holt. They aren't protesting work, They need more money and benefits to help their family survive these horrible times we are going thru right now. I just don't don't think it will get any better.

  82. Norma Cachola

    Big business is wrong. Thankgiving, Christmas, and new years…its about family so why is big business taking.it way? Stand up for your rights!

  83. Cindy Deere Johnson

    I work for a Wal-Mart in Wisconsin where jobs are few and far between. We have a great management team and dedicated employees. I will choose to keep my job, thank you. There are so many people out of work and no jobs around but retail. You learn to adjust and live with it or you may be one of those out of a job.

  84. Barbara Bedsole

    I don't know what good it will do, if any. You've now lost your job because WM doesn't give a rip. There are thousands out of work to take your place. I worked at WM Dothan, AL and they do not care about their employees. If you keep your mouth shut, don't question what they want you to do, kiss butt from your Dept. Mgr to the Co-manager you will be okay. They don't want associates who can think for themselves. You are one head in a herd of cattle and you must act accordingly. I haven't read yet why they were striking, but I hope they gave it a lot of thought. WM employees are very dispensable.

  85. Judy Aasheim Ganyo

    All I know folks is that my grandson was totally unable to spend Thanksgiving with his family because he had to work ON Thanksgiving Day, as well as Black Friday. The Corporation, not a union, decided they were to be open. Both have issues but cannot blame a union for being there to protect worker's rights — unions have many, many times in history protected us. And, incidentally, I am NOT a union fan or employee, nor am a believer in the god of corporate greed. We just need to be fair.

  86. Liz Denman

    I worked at walmart through the holidays, and yes I knew I might have to work on the actual holiday, and you work around it, but when the corporation purosefully moves their sales times up, and your only paid double for half the time you work, you get treated like crap. You get sick and tired of dealing with issues that should easily be taken care of, but aren't.

  87. Barbara Wales

    Unions have outlived their purpose. They must take blame along with others for the high unemployment. If u Don't like working at Walmart leave and find another job

  88. Michael Zack

    If they don't like it they can quit. Wal-Mat can run the company the way they want. If you don't want to work, fine, there are other retail stores to go to. Saying that because they have money they can pay more is stupidity. I f things changed and they had less money would the employees be willing to take less? Ask Hostess. Don't like it? Leave.

  89. Daniel Owens

    Let them walk out! I'm looking for a second job to raise more capital for our eBay store, so I'll be glad to take someone's former position.

  90. John Schulz

    Wow you people who believe the unions are your saviors better check yourselves it is the unions constant demands that have driven so much of our manufacturing overseas we can't compete with all the ridicoulasly high costs of manufacturing in this country.

  91. John Schulz

    Oh and if walmart employees unionize they will watch their take home pay shrink just based on now having to pay union dues

  92. Bill Goldsby

    I feel for those employees that seem to feel that the only way to combat the adverse working conditions is to strike. It is those employees that are usually the ones that are lax in their work ethic. You know the ones that come in complaining about everything in their life, punch in do as little work as possible and expect the company to give them more. Well folks it doesn't work like that. First to gain respect of management and get rewarded you must first show initiative on the job, show them that you want to be there even on a holiday. Offer to do the job a step above what they expect. I work in retail in California in an area where the $11.70 an hour I make is tough to live on, but I know that the company rewards hard work. My sister works for Walmart and we were both raised to work hard and go above the call of duty on our jobs. We are both rewarded by our employers for this work.

    I am familiar with the areas where Walmart employees posed a strike in California, most of these employees that walked were receiving welfare before Walmart moved in. There is a 3-year lifetime limit on welfare and they were forced to get off their butts and go to work or be homeless. These are people who have a lifetime of watching their parents or themselves live off the government and now they have to participate in that four letter word thing called work and they don't know how to handle it.

    I have one person at my job that has followed in her mother's footsteps to the point she faked an injury at work to collect Worker's Comp, she has been returned to work and now hides out in different locations of the store to avoid doing her assigned tasked. She doesn't want to work not does her husband who works for the same company but at a different location. I despise the fact that she is taking hours from us that another employee that wants more could use, especially since they will do the job.

    Her ideas is that we should unionize also because then the union will "take care of us". My response is "like they took care of the Hostess employees". I have worked union shops before, they tend to look out for what is going to get them more in their pockets, not what the employees need or desire, like a JOB!

    Wise up people there are millions out there on unemployment that want a job, they will happily take yours if you don't want to work for your living.

  93. EllenMae Serviss

    What a great time to do this. People should be home with their families having a 4 day weekend not out making Christmas all about the best buys. But when have families today ever spent time together.

  94. Patricia Grant-Clemons

    Maybe those of you how are against these workers have not been a situation where this is the only way to legally put a roof over their heads and those of their children. That although some may have a college degree; this job and the other part time job they only they could get is the only way to feed a family. Maybe if some of you high minded, pious people would walk a day in someone else's shoes you wouldn't be so quick to judge.

  95. Genifer Brown

    As a former employee of Walmart I commend this strikers. I know how the company treats their employees.And when we are hired we were not told how unfairly we would be treated. I didn't mind working some holidays. But it was totally unfair to make the same employees work year after year same employees off year after year. I believe if you work one holiday that employee should have the next one off. But that's not how it goes. The policy sucks big time. If you treat all employees fairly then there would be no walk outs, strikes or unions. Instead some employees get treated better than others. If you have ever worked for a big company then you would know what I am talking about. Its not about what's convenient for an employee. It's about being treated fairly. The seven years I worked there the only holiday I had off was Christmas day and that was because we were closed. Other then the times I was sick I was a dependable worker. I was cross trained in many departments. I remember people who got hired after I did had every holiday off because of one reason or another. Is that fair for them to have every holiday off and for me to work every holiday. NO. So before you put down these strikers think about the reason because they could have been treated the way I was cause I know at my store I wasn't the only one. Oh and another thing is I wasn't paid well. People who got hired after me was paid more an hour than I was. The only reason I know this is because they bragged about it. So before you comment know what you are talking about.

  96. Mike Vurnakes

    You don't like your wages? Improve your skill set or work somewhere else! Most of the boobs defending this need to take a simple econ class.

  97. Jonathan David Sarfati

    But one thing is wrong with supermarkets in America in general: why the &*$! don't they let the checkout people sit down? They do in UK and Germany.

  98. Dawn Grounds

    They've gotten too big and money hungry, they don't care about people anymore, they care about the almighty dollar, sure they have a lot of salaries and benefits to pay, but look at the money they take in and how many walmarts there are in the world! the people I used to work with say the same thing, we used to feel like family, then everyone started coming to work dragging their face on the ground behind them hoping they could make through another day. I do have one good thing to say considering where I work now, (not gonna mention who that is) walmart is great or was great when I was there about giving 15 minute breaks every two hours and and hour lunch, where I am now, it's not fun standing at a cash register for four hours or more and praying the customers will go home for a few minutes.

  99. Virginia Goldsby Redd

    If you don't like where you work or how much you get paid then leave!!! Plain and simple!!! There is someone out there looking for work and are not too proud to do anything!!! Just know the jobs out there are few and far between, good luck!!!

  100. Suzanne Black Miller

    It unnecessary for stores to open Thanksgiving Day. Shoppers can wait till Fri to make their Black Friday purchases. Give employees the day off. Bet upper level mgmnt is at home!

  101. Sherry Sarfati

    Gigi Ballester Actually stupid union rules were to blame, where Twinkie loaders couldn't load Wonder Bread, and neither could unload.

  102. Sherry Sarfati

    Patricia Grant-Clemons Actually, I worked at Walmart. Then I grew up and got a real job.

  103. Sherry Sarfati

    Laura Wolpert Actually, unions, who live off the greed of taking dues from employees, are not to the benefit of anyone but themselves. They make themselves relevant by creating unreasonable rules, and use strikes and thuggery to enforce them. In the meantime, the employee and the employer both suffer. It's a gimmick where the only winner is the union.

  104. Sherry Sarfati

    Tina Everts 100 people to "support" 1 worker in the store who was silly enough to risk their job for nothing other than an entitlement mindset that they "deserve" more than they agreed to accept as wages and benefits. The bottom line is that people want to work, and they want their job. That's why so few turned out to this "walkout".

  105. Patty Stuart

    I completely disagree Unions are the reason coporations went to china because ppl there actually work. Sure wages in china were low because they were willing to WORK!!!! Wal-Mart employs 1.4 million ppl, now just imagine all the union dues that would then go to line the pockets of the Union bosses that they than use to elect ppl like Obama. I think those that walked out just want to be able to work when they want to. By the way associates get benefits such as health insurance, paid vacations, holiday pay and bonus's quarterly plus a 401k, a chance to purchase stock……mmmm sounds like benefits to me

  106. Jonathan David Sarfati

    Rockefeller and Carnegie started off very poor. They became rich because Americans liked their cheaper oil and steel better than that of the competition. They *freely* exchanged their money for these products which they clearly valued more than the money, otherwise the exchanges would not have been made. These men made oil and steel affordable to millions, so the total wealth of American people increased by far more than their own. Then they donated much of their fortune to build libraries, universities and research foundations. http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/john-d-rockefeller-and-the-oil-industry

  107. Jonathan David Sarfati

    Tom McCarty What makes you think unions are for the workers? They are just for the unions. The real boon for workers is NOT because unions fought for a bigger share of the economic pie, but because capitalism made the pie so much bigger. All unions have done is fought with the bakers, and forced many out of business. See http://patriotupdate.com/articles/unions-myth-versus-facts

  108. Jonathan David Sarfati

    The great economist Dr Sowell points out how unions have killed businesses with their greed and laziness in http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell112012.php3#:

    Many people think of labor unions as organizations to benefit workers, and think of employers who are opposed to unions as just people who don't want to pay their employees more money. But some employers have made it a point to pay their employees more than the union wages, just to keep them from joining a union.
    Why would they do that, if it is just a question of not wanting to pay union wages? The Twinkies bankruptcy is a classic example of costs created by labor unions that are not confined to paychecks.
    The work rules imposed in union contracts required the company that makes Twinkies, which also makes Wonder Bread, to deliver these two products to stores in separate trucks. Moreover, truck drivers were not allowed to load either of these products into their trucks. And the people who did load Twinkies into trucks were not allowed to load Wonder Bread, and vice versa.
    All of this was obviously intended to create more jobs for the unions' members. But the needless additional costs that these make-work rules created ended up driving the company into bankruptcy, which can cost 18,500 jobs. The union is killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

  109. Jonathan David Sarfati

    Jae F Respass, indeed, many of Walmart's detractors rant as if Walmart is causing poverty, when in reality, it provides a way of *alleviating* poverty, both for its employees and shoppers. Do these detractors really think that if Walmart did not exist, poor workers would be better off with one less choice of employer?

  110. Robert Rowe

    Seems to be a lot of Walmart haters out there. I just gotta say, been with Walmart 6 years now and love it. Sure there has been some people (customers and associates alike) that may get under my skin occasionally, but they are at ANY job. As for going union? Cannot see why I should pay money to the unions after being with 1 for years that did NOTHING for me when I was threatened with termination.

    Yes I worked Thanksgiving, yes I worked black friday, yes I have worked numerous other holidays. Here's some other yes's, Yes they have flexible scheduling. They work around students schedules and around single parents schedules. When I have been on my 2 week summer training for the Navy reserves (for the past 6 years), they compensated my pay. When called to active duty Navy for 21 monthes (A) they kept my job for me and (B) allowed my spouse and I to keep our benefits cards. Additionally, when I was on jury duty for 3 days, they compensated me.

    Think I will get off my soap box now, but first my hats off and hearty toast to Walmart workers everywhere. Bless you all!

  111. Robert Rowe

    Seems to be a lot of Walmart haters out there. I just gotta say, been with Walmart 6 years now and love it. Sure there has been some people (customers and associates alike) that may get under my skin occasionally, but they are at ANY job. As for going union? Cannot see why I should pay money to the unions after being with 1 for years that did NOTHING for me when I was threatened with termination.

    Yes I worked Thanksgiving, yes I worked black friday, yes I have worked numerous other holidays. Here's some other yes's, Yes they have flexible scheduling. They work around students schedules and around single parents schedules. When I have been on my 2 week summer training for the Navy reserves (for the past 6 years), they compensated my pay. When called to active duty Navy for 21 monthes (A) they kept my job for me and (B) allowed my spouse and I to keep our benefits cards. Additionally, when I was on jury duty for 3 days, they compensated me.

    Think I will get off my soap box now, but first my hats off and hearty toast to Walmart workers everywhere. Bless you all!

  112. Ron Blaylock Sr

    Doesn't kind of depend somewhat on how the managers at each store make your workday good? I can't say much about Walmart because I've never worked retail. I did, however, work one place where I really liked the job but the two, yes two, supervisors made contradictory assignments many times. I started looking for another job after being there about 4 months. [I never quit a job before having an offer from another company first.]

  113. Tammy Parent

    Telling someone who works in low paying hostile work environment that they should be grateful to have a job is like telling a battered women that she should be grateful to have a man who puts a roof over her head and food on the table……………..

  114. Mark Miller

    Yes Rockefeller and Carnegie started low and became uber-rich. They were mightily philanthropic in their twighlight years, but it is in the getting that even their own family members will admit, that they crossed lines and people suffered.

  115. Mark Miller

    Unions as an ideal were not founded on the problems that htey pose today. Greed in everything has made them corrupt but so are the powers that they were created to address. Big business is all about greed and whatever it takes to make the profit regardless of who it hurts, what the workers get out it or anything else remotely humane. Serfs and Nobles. I rule you do as I say whether you like it or not, if not then find your own way among the other nobles but there is no parody.

  116. Mark Miller

    Roosevelt is amongst one of the greatest Presidents of this country. His breaking of the trusts allowed for smaller businesses to have a chance. Affirmative action to buying a Presidency seems like a good thing to me. Maybe not living by payoffs and bribes might seem un- Democratic (or more to the case Un-Republican these days) but I prefer to think of a better way for the average person. Since Roosevelt and his cousin had time in office the common man has had a chance to make more of themselves in this country but now the tide is again swinging to the ideal that few should rule based on wealth rather than right. I for one do not tout it to be all well and good that you can make your wealth at the expense of the collective good. Maybe you see it that way and God bless you and all your money, but I prefer to help all my fellow man rather than the top 10%

  117. Sharon Martin Thompson

    Too many companies believe you should "jus b glad" you have a job…Fuk daT! RespeC mE N imma RespeC U, point blank & dah period! Why wait til we go on strike…aK righT in the begiNNIn and there's no need 4 unions or strikes! I've worked for a company that didn't even provide a place for you to eat lunch, hang your coat or a locker for personal items. Oh but they wanted me to put in a bunch of overtime. HA! I think noT! If Wal-mart has this problem again next year or doesn't resolve the issue within the year, I will boycott wal-marts black friday sales or daily shopping altogether.