100 Walmart Protesters Reportedly Arrested In 15-City Strike [UPDATED]

<b class="credit">Mariya Pylayev/AOL</b>
Mariya Pylayev/AOL

UPDATE September 6, 7:00 am: One hundred Walmart workers and activists in 11 cities were arrested Thursday as part of a wave of protests against the retail giant, OUR Walmart, the protest organizer, said in a release late Thursday. Thousands of workers and activists in 15 cities participated in the protests, the largest action against Walmart since Black Friday's protests, according to OUR Walmart, the organizer.

Three protesters -- one current Walmart worker, two former workers -- were arrested on charges of trespassing early Thursday after they tried to hand-deliver a petition to Walmart board member Christopher Williams in New York City. The petition calls for Walmart to offer full-time work with a minimum salary of $25,000 a year and reinstate those workers allegedly fired for their labor activism.

According to independent analysts and surveys by websites including Glassdoor, Walmart workers make an average of $8 to $9 an hour. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer says the average wage for the "majority" of its hourly employees is $12.78 an hour.

In addition to the petition drop-off, protesters are also planning to stage a protest at Marissa Mayer's apartment at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco. (The Yahoo CEO sits on the board of Walmart.) Thursday's activism is the latest and largest after ten months of similar actions which began last November, when Walmart workers staged protests at roughly 1,000 stores to coincide with "Black Friday."

"It's very difficult to support your family on Walmart wages," recently fired Walmart worker Jovani Gomez told AOL Jobs. Gomez, who is 25 and whose girlfriend is pregnant, worked five years as a meat sales associate for Walmart in Lakewood, Calif., before he was let go. He says he was fired for participating in protests. "They start us at barely over minimum wage and so they lie when they say they are going to provide living wages." Gomez is taking part in Thursday's protest in Los Angeles.

Originally published