The push for a nationwide thunderous protest by Walmart employees against their employer on Black Friday turned out to be no more than a tiny drizzle. Walmart estimated the number of its employees protesting nationwide at 20. The activist group OUR Walmart, which planned the protests, had no comment about the paucity of protesters when they were contacted by the Washington Examiner.
Our Walmart member Martha Sellers, a cashier at a Paramount, Calif., brusquely replied, “I don’t have an actual count. I know Walmart is saying that workers are not participating. That is wrong. They are …It is awful that Walmart is spreading these kinds of lies.”
Walmart spokeswoman Kory Lundberg said the heavy majority of protesters were not employees and that very few employees, called “associates” by Walmart, left work to protest. She asserted, “Fewer than 20 current associates have participated so far, and we’ve only seen six demonstrations with a current associate.”
OUR Walmart, a subsidiary of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), said there were 1,500 protests they had set up nationwide to protest the salaries paid to Walmart employees. There were reportedly arrests in California and Virginia at Walmart outlets. But the Virginia arrests included only one Walmart “associate.”
UFCW tried to savage Walmart last year after Thanksgiving, staging a number of protests; Walmart said later only about 100 of its associates protested, even though OUR Walmart had offered associates $50 gift cards to protest. The National Labor Relations Board ruled the offer a noncoercive form of strike pay.
Landover, Maryland’s Walmart was scheduled to have a protest sponsored by OUR Walmart this year; no one showed up. A local policeman said, “They talked about doing it, the unions, but nobody showed up.” One employee explained why, saying, “I’d like to ask for more, but any day you have a job is a good day.”