Walmart Workers Threaten Black Friday Walkouts


Earlier this week we noted that some workers at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) had walked off the job at a few stores around the country. The walkouts were primarily aimed at alleged retaliation by Walmart against workers who complained about job conditions.

A Walmart employee who is a member of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart -- or OUR Walmart -- said:

Walmart's efforts to try to silence us is only building support among our co-workers in calling for changes at the store. We will not be silenced, especially on Black Friday when Walmart wants us to cut short the holiday with our families to help the company profit. If Walmart wants workers fully committed to the stores on Black Friday, Walmart needs to do more for us the rest of the days of the year.

OUR Walmart is with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

In addition to complaints about retaliation, workers also seek better pay, work hours, and scheduling.

Any walkout at Walmart stores on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving and the biggest retail shopping day of the year) would have to be far larger than the walkouts have been so far. Walmart employs 1.4 million people in the U.S. at more than 4,500 retail locations. Walkouts so far have involved a few hundred employees at fewer than 50 stores.

Paul Ausick