Interrupting America’s shopping frenzy on the sacred capitalist holiday of Black Friday, protesters flooded malls and Walmarts from Ferguson to Los Angeles, bringing news of racism and labor exploitation.
After 50-odd years without coordinated strikes in U.S. Wal-Marts, the chain has seen a series of employee protests organized by the nonunion workers’ group OUR Wal-Mart. Wednesday the wave of demonstrations reached Southern California in a surprise strike riding on the coattails of a successful walk-off in Hialeah, Fla.
An assistant store manager for Walmart tells in mid-2011 how during an eight-week training course “managers were trained to put ... fear into hourly workers’ heads” and spot employees the company deemed likely to organize.
About the worker walkout and protest planned across the country this Friday, Wal-Mart said: “These so-called protests involve a handful of associates and a handful of stores. In fact, most of the protesters ... are union organizers and union members who work somewhere else.” Says William Fletcher of OUR Walmart: “It’s not true.”