Ellicott City Walmart Workers May Join Black Friday Strike

Employees of the retail giant hope to take advantage of one of the year's busiest shopping days.

Organizers of Making Change at Walmart are trying to encourage participation in a Black Friday demonstration at the Ellicott City store and stores around the nation to protest what some say are the company's low wages, poor scheduling practices and worker intimidation. 

The campaign is also linked with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, is planning demonstrations outside dozens of stores nationwide on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

In Maryland, Nov. 23 protests are scheduled for Walmart and Sam's Club locations in Laurel, Hyattsville, Bowie, Gaithersburg, Woodlawn, Severn, Clinton, Abingdon, Alexandria, and Fairfax. (Both chains are owned by parent company Walmart Stores, Inc.)

Organizers are also trying to drum up interest to hold demostrations in other locations, including Columbia, Ellicott City, Hanover and Eldersburg.

The strike action follows a series of demonstrations last month at Walmarts across the country and around the region, including a walkout of 11 employees at Laurel's Walmart Supercenter.

Walmart has characterized the campaign as an attempt by unions to advance their own political agendas, arguing that it treats and compensates its employees well.

"We have some of the best jobs in retail," spokesman David Tovar told the New York Times in October. "Our full-time average wage is $12.54 an hour, which is $5.00 above the federal minimum wage."

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Joe November 13, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Unions suck the life out of business. Look at Hostess! The unions wanted more even though the company filed for bankruptcy a few months ago. Now they went on strike and 3 plants have shut their doors. the CEO said he would shut the company down completely if the unions go further. The union thugs would rather not have a job it seems.
bill bissenas November 13, 2012 at 06:58 PM
The unions destroy jobs and raise prices. They stifle business growth and capital investment. The unions only seek to benefit themselves with the leaders of the union lining their pockets with money earned by others. Go away union thugs. We don't want you in our community.
Karen Davis November 15, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Walmart made $67 billion (BILLION) last quarter. That princely "average" salary for full-timers is $26,083 a year - and a good number of them make way less if that salary is averaging out the high earners. More importantly, most of Walmart employees are not full-timers, and part-timers don't even have minimum wage protections. You can hate on unions if you want, but don't pretend Walmart pays well and gives good benefits. This is a company that uses EITC as part of its planned wage structure. Know who you're supporting.
MG42 November 15, 2012 at 12:35 PM
If Walmart doesn't pay well and have benefits and working conditions then why don't the Walmart employees seek other jobs? Walmart stockholders may have made $67 billion last quarter but they also have approx 15 times that amount of capital at risk, whereas employees have nothing at risk. Your naive comment demonstrates your complete lack of business sense.


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