Walmart employees, labor groups protest on Black Friday

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Shoppers who are filling Walmart stores on Black Friday are also coming across some protesters.

Labor groups are joining groups of Walmart employees who are complaining about low wages and a lack of benefits.

They also claim that the largest retailer in the world shows a pattern of retaliating against workers who try to organize.

The Walmart in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood was relatively quiet outside Friday morning.

But then two buses full of protesters arrived.

The group called “Our Walmart” came dressed in neon green shirts.

They included at least one Chatham Walmart employee.

The protesters say they don’t earn enough money to make ends meet since they earn about $11 per hour and are scheduled less than 40 hours per week.

They also claim the company retaliates against workers who complain about their conditions.

“They retaliate by black listing us, telling other associates not to associate with us, shortening our working hours, all the way up to termination,” said employee Charmaine Gibens Thomas.

“At no time would we ever retaliate against any associate,” said Walmart Operations Manager Jack Williams.  “Our associates have the right to speak out when they’re concerned, and we love to hear those things.  We want to hear from them whenever they have a concern and address those things.”

The “Our Walmart” protest left the Chatham location about two hours after it showed up.

Similar protests are taking place at Walmart all over the country.

They are all timed to coincide with the busiest shopping day of the year.

More protests against low wages are also planned for later Friday in the Loop and along the Mag Mile.

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