NEW: Protesters Descend on Central Mass Walmarts
Friday, November 23, 2012
Employees of the world’s largest retailer have taken action at warehouses and retail stores across the country in recent weeks, walking off the job to protest low wages, unsafe working conditions, and the company’s continued attempts to silence workers’ voices on the job. From hour reductions to outright termination, Walmart has retaliated against the workers, prompting a formal federal complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.
"We're standing up at all the Wallmarts in Massachusetts and saying the community is with the workers and we will stand behind them to improve their conditions," said Russ Davis, executive director at Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, a coalition of labor, community, faith, and student organizations focused on workers' rights.
The Black Friday protests came on the heels of statewide actions just a month ago, where delegations of concerned customers and community leaders fanned out to Massachusetts Walmart locations to demand an end to the retail giant’s retaliation against its employees. Walmart has yet to respond to the public outcry, inciting Black Friday protests nationwide.
However, Davis said the protests on Friday and the revolt by workers that they represent goes beyond the retail giant to the bigger problems underlying the current state of worker relations and employment practices in the country as a whole.
"It's not just Walmart," he said. "It's about what's wrong the economy."
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