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Sunday, November 30, 2014

On Black Friday, Walmart Is Pressed for Wage Increases

Today's post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from

While millions of shoppers flocked to Walmart stores nationwide on Black Friday, thousands of protesters descended on Walmarts to protest what they said were the retailer’s low wages.

About 300 people rallied Friday morning at a Walmart near Union Station in Washington, while 11 Walmart workers and supporters were arrested on charges of blocking traffic outside a Walmart on West Monroe Street in Chicago. At the Walmart in North Bergen, N.J., several hundred union members and others protested, including Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, whose placard said, “Walmart: Breaking the Promise of America.”

Ronee Hinton, a cashier at a Walmart in Laurel, Md., joined a morning protest at the Walmart in Washington, calling on the company to increase everyone’s pay to at least $15 and hour and give more workers full-time and less erratic schedules.

“It’s very hard on what I earn,” said Ms. Hinton, noting that she typically earns about $220 a week — she earns $8.40 an hour and often works about 26 hours a week. “Right now I’m on food stamps and am applying for medical assistance. It would help a lot to get full time.”

In recent days, leaders of Our Walmart, a union-backed group of Walmart employees, said there would be protests at 1,600 stores on Black Friday. Friday afternoon, officials from Our Walmart said that with the protests unfolding, they could not say how many Walmart employees had...

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