SEEKONK – As part of a nationwide Black Friday protest, Walmart workers and community allies plan to gather at Walmart retail stores across Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
“With more than 100 stores on strike and community allies protesting at 1,000 more Walmart locations nationwide, Black Friday is shaping up to be more than Walmart management bargained for,” said a release from Mass Jobs with Justice.
Protests are planned at the superstore’s Warwick, Fall River, North Attleboro, Raynham, Seekonk and Swansea branches, along with 13 other Walmart locations in Massachusetts.
The protests are part of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart, a labor group that includes Walmart associates and members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International demanding higher wages, more generous benefits, safe working conditions and the right to organize.
In response to the UFCW’s planned protests, Walmart President and CEO Bill Simon said in a release that “only 26 protests occurred at stores last night and many of them did not include any Walmart associates.” In addition, the company did not experience the walk-offs that were promised by the UFCW. “We estimate that less than 50 associates participated in the protest nationwide. In fact, this year, roughly the same number of associates missed their scheduled shift as last year,” Simon said.
Walmart associates receive a 10 percent discount on general merchandise bought at Walmart stores all year long. Earlier this holiday season, the company rewarded associates with a special holiday discount of 10 percent off most food items from November 9 to January 1 to help make the holidays for its associates and their families even more special.
Also, to recognize those associates who helped serve customers during its Black Friday events, the company is providing an additional 10 percent discount on an entire basket of goods. Eligible associates who helped execute Walmart’s Black Friday events will also receive holiday pay.