Black Friday is a great day both for buyers and for retailers, but what about the employees? Some 200 Walmart employees are threatening to strike on Black Friday, the most prolific day of the year.
Walmart might be the largest private employer but given the recent labor protests, it looks like it’s more of a hassle than a pride. And then there’s the threat of strike on Black Friday. Leaving Walmart’s revenues apart, a Black Friday strike is just making life harder for buyers.
Wednesday in Bentonville’s Walmart headquarters, 200 protesters showed up to boycott the company’s meeting with investors and analysts over the introduction of same-day delivery. It was just the last drop to stir angry employees who are now threatening to strike on the most prolific day of the year. Leaders of labor groups announced they will join Walmart workers protesting outside stores on Black Friday.
“We feel like if they refuse to listen to our proposition we will make sure that on Black Friday we will take action inside and outside of stores” said Colby Harris, Walmart employee and OUR Walmart member. “We’ll make it known that Walmart’s deadline is Black Friday” the 22-year-old employee said.
But Walmart says the strike threat is just “an attempt by the unions to further their own political and financial agendas”. David Tovar, Walmart VP of communications, told the Huffington Post that the company’s 1.4 million employees are content with their wages, hours and management.
“More than half of Walmart’s one million hourly store associates have an hourly wage at least $10.00 or higher” David Tovar told The Huffington Post. “In fact, in many metropolitan areas in which we operate, our entry level start rates regularly exceeds that of new hires for comparable positions under the UFCW contracts” he added.
Whereas David Tovar says the company’s employees are happy, worker Evelin Cruz has a different take. “People were really tired that any time they would speak out against the pay, hours, how much they would work, that management would cut their hours or not give them a schedule” said the department manager at Walmart Pico Rivera and member of the United Food and Commercial Workers organization.
David Tovar didn’t address the Black Friday strike threat and it’s likely Walmart will avoid it as much as possible. And with employees striking in front of stores, it looks like this year’s Black Friday is going to get even crazier than last year’s.