Wal-Mart workers threaten Black Friday walkout

NEED TO KNOW
  • Employees may walk out on busiest shopping day of year
  • Workers push for better working conditions, pay
Wal-Mart workers push for higher pay, better working conditions.

Wal-Mart workers are threatening to go on strike on the busiest shopping day of the holiday season -- Black Friday.

Dan Schlademan, director of the “Making Change at Wal-Mart" campaign, told The New York Times that employees are considering a protest the Friday after Thanksgiving if their demands are not met. Employees at the big-box store have been pushing for better working conditions, wages and benefits.

Earlier this week, Wal-Mart workers in 28 stores across 12 states walked out on their jobs. It was the first strike in Wal-Mart’s 50-year history. 

READ MORE: Wal-Mart wants to be your new bank

Other organizations have pledged to join the protests against Wal-Mart.

"In America, workers should not be forced to go on strike to protect their most basic rights to free speech and to come together with a collective voice," said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumer League.

Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization of Women, said Wal-Mart has had a long history of unequal pay for women at its stores and does not help to advance women toward management positions.

“We stand in solidarity with the women and with the workers walking off the jobs and will stand with them on Black Friday,” she said. 

Wal-Mart officials said the protests have been carried out by a small part of the nation’s 1.4 million workers.

“It’s no secret that the unions want to organize our associates,” said Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar. “These protests are union-led and union-funded by unions that are trying to further their own political and financial agenda.”

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