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Walmart Workers Walk Off Job in First Wave of 1000 Protests

As Black Friday approaches, Walmart workers speak out

Common Dreams staff

Wednesday marks the first day of 1000 protests as Walmart workers demand better treatment.(Photo by OURWalmart via Flickr)

Walmart Workers are walking off jobs at the big box retailer in droves this week in the first wave of 1000 protests set to culminate on national shopping holiday, Black Friday.

Warehouse and retail employees from Southern California walked off the job Wednesday and on Thursday morning Walmart workers from Seattle joined them in protest.

Following these actions, a press release from Making Change at Walmart announced that these strikes are the first of 1000 protests, "including more strikes, rallies and online actions, at Walmart stores leading up to and on Black Friday." Strikes and protests are scheduled at store locations across the country, including Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Washington DC, as well as workers walking off the job in Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana and Minnesota.

Walmart workers are speaking out against the company's attempts to silence employees' complaints regarding the "company’s manipulation of hours and benefits, efforts to try to keep people from working full-time and their discrimination against women and people of color." Workers cite such abuses as rearranging schedules, cutting hours and even firing people who speak out. 

In anticipation of the holiday, employees have also been speaking out against the company's decision to begin Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day, "preventing many retail workers from being able to spend the holiday with their families."

Making Change at Walmart produced this video as a rallying cry for workers to "stand up, live better."

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