As the shopping extravaganza known as Black Friday came early this year with an increasing amount of retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day, employees for one of the largest big-box-stores in the country, Walmart, prepared protests for 1,500 locations nationwide.
Organizers with the group OUR Walmart, who have helped rally Walmart workers that are fed up with poverty wages and poor working conditions at the retail giant's locations across the country, said this year's protests will be "unprecedented" in scope.
As Allison Kilkenny at The Nation notes, this year's Black Friday protests are the culmination of roughly a year of protests and strikes against Walmart by employees and their supporters, and this week has seen a number of preliminary actions ahead of the big day. Kilkenny reports:
As Al-Jazeera reports, organizers see this year as a perfect opportunity to increase pressure and raise awareness about Walmart's labor standards, as anger over income inequality has grown worldwide and Walmart has been embedded in controversy over its policies:
protests this Black Friday are expected in major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Miami, Bay Area, Chicago, Seattle, Washington D.C., Minneapolis and Sacramento amongst other locations, "in what is set to be one of the largest mobilizations of working families in American history."
In addition to better labor standards, full time work opportunities and fair wages, the workers are calling for an end to illegal retaliation by Walmart against outspoken employees and those who have taken part in actions.