Listener Supported Public Media from Fordham University

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tunein
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • RSS

Amid the Shopping Mayhem, Protests at Walmart

by Stephanie Colombini
A A
Occupy Black Friday 2012

DB's Travels http://www.flickr.com/photos/donbrr/

It's all hands on deck at most retail stores across America for Black Friday, but some Walmart workers are refusing to clock in.

The crowds of workers standing outside Walmarts across the country today aren't the superstore's Greeters welcoming in shoppers.  They're part of the Occupy Black Friday movement, and they're protesting for better working conditions.  

Carrie Fisher is with the Retail Action Project, a labor organization supporting striking workers at the Walmart in Secaucus, New Jersey.  She says she expects to see some real power demonstrated on the picket line.  But taking a stand can be risky.

"I think that's a fear workers always have, you know, 'if I speak up, what will happen to me,' right?  Which is why I think it's important for workers to join organizations, so you're not speaking up alone."

It is illegal for employers to retaliate against staff for protesting, and Walmart is learning that the hard way.  The National Labor Relations Board is currently seeking a settlement with the company regarding last year's Black Friday protests, when Walmart unlawfully threatened and terminated employees in thirteen states.  

A Walmart spokesman says employees have every right to voice their concerns.  But there is an attendance policy in place to ensure no one is left with overwhelming amounts of work.  He recommends staff scheduled to work join the protest after their shift.

Listen

Share

WFUV News and Public Affairs

From interviews with newsmakers to features about local issues, the WFUV News team keeps listeners informed about the Tri-State area. Learn more.
How are we doing? Take our WFUV News survey.