DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – At some Wal-Mart stores across North Texas and the nation, shoppers looking to snag Black Friday bargains, were also greeted with public displays of employee discontent.
“We’re out, basically, because Wal-Mart is continuing to retaliate against us,” said Colby Harris, an associate at the Lancaster store, “and not listen to the issues that we’ve brought to their attention on several occasions.”
Harris and a few dozen protestors carried signs and chanted “one, two, three, four! We’re the ones who run the store! Five, six, seven, eight! We’re the ones who move the freight!” in an orchestrated effort to draw attention to their concerns on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Organizers say Wal-Mart officials are ignoring their concerns about pay, poor working conditions, and unaffordable benefits. And they point to growing community support as evidence that their fight with the world’s largest retailer is resonating with others, as well.
“I’m here in solidarity with Wal-Mart workers because of the huge gap in income that’s happening in our country,” said Leslie Harris. “The wages are sort of ridiculous. Their hours are being manipulated, so they don’t have to be paid as much, there [are] questions about benefits, and they’re retaliating against some of the workers who are objecting.”
Wal-Mart associate Vanzell Johnson says he remains committed. “I truly believe that we’re making a difference,” says Johnson, “I mean, without a doubt. I was looking at the news, people in California, they’re doing it big out there!”
But, in spite of the workers’ planned show of force, the demonstrations fell far short of ‘crippling’ the world’s largest retailer. In fact, some of those protesting still planned to report for their scheduled work shifts.
A spokesperson for the Arkansas based retailer told CBS 11 that Wal-Mart listens to associate concerns and will “take action as appropriate.”
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