Walmart Workers Protest Black Friday in Miami
While scores of Miamians lined up to get deals on $2.99 waffle presses and half-priced flat screens, or whatever it is that whips those Black Friday shoppers up into a frenzy, several disgruntled Walmart workers were there to great them.
The local workers joined a national movement protesting Walmart's questionable treatment of its employees.
"They're doing us wrong by giving us short hours, paying us less, minimum wage, being there for so many years and being part time and not letting nobody move up," protester Elaine Rozier told CBS Miami while protesting in front of the Walmart store on Second Avenue.
Walmart workers in over 100 cities and 46 states are joining in on the national protest. The Making Change at Walmart campaign is anchored by the United Food & Commercial Workers.
The group sent out the following statement:
Walmart workers have been speaking out about the company's manipulation of hours and benefits, efforts to try to keep people from working full-time and its discrimination against women and people of color, but rather than listening to the concerns facing 1.4 million Walmart workers, Walmart has attempted to silence these workers who speak out. Some workers have also been speaking out about the early start of Black Friday sales - on Thanksgiving Day -which kept many retail workers from being able to spend the holiday with their families.
With so many Americans struggling to make ends meet and Walmart taking in $16 billion in profits and compensating its executives $10 million each, workers and community leaders have been calling on Walmart and Chairman Rob Walton to address the wage gap the company is creating. At the same time frontline Walmart workers are facing financial hardships, the Walton Family - heirs to the Walmart fortune - are the richest family in the country with more wealth than the bottom 42% of American families combined.
While the protests were timed to coincide with Black Friday, they take on additional significance locally as the discount behemoth is currently pursuing plans to plop a giant Super Walmart right in the middle of the booming Midtown Miami area.
While Walmart claims the store would create hundreds of jobs, detractors claim those jobs would be poor quality, and that the store would had a severe negative effect on nearby small businesses.