Wal-Mart—America’s largest retailer—will be facing a lot of hurdles on Black Friday. Not only is there a robust social media campaign under way that is encouraging black Americans to boycott major businesses as a way to protest the Ferguson, Mo., grand jury verdict, but Al-Jazeera is also reporting that OUR Walmart—the “union-backed labor campaign” consisting of employees and labor activists—is planning protests in front of several Wal-Mart locations across the country.
“Workers affiliated with OUR Walmart claim the retailer pays so little that some employees don’t even have the means to feed their families. The campaign has also filed legal complaints accusing Walmart of illegally retaliating against strikers, sometimes by firing them,” Al-Jazeera explains.
This year’s protests will be the labor organization’s third consecutive rally. Most of the individuals who will be protesting are labor activists, but Wal-Mart employees are allowed to join the rally without fear of losing their jobs.
“Many of those picketing Walmart—perhaps even most—will be outside supporters of the OUR Walmart campaign, not store employees themselves,” the news site reported.
“Those employees who do walk off the job will likely do so for just one day. Yet OUR Walmart has said that their prior work stoppages are legally protected strikes, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has agreed,” Al-Jazeera explained.
“We know the pain of going hungry, and we see it in our co-workers’ eyes,” Cantare Davunt, a Minnesota Wal-Mart manager and OUR Walmart member, said.
Wal-Mart disagrees with critics of its salaries and argues that the retailer has conducted an investigation of its pay scale and “concluded that its employment policies actually do a great deal to lift people out of poverty,” Al-Jazeera reports.
“We see people move off of public assistance relatively quickly when they come to work at Wal-Mart, because of the jobs and the opportunities to move up,” Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg said.
Read more at Al-Jazeera.