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Walmart Workers May Strike Over Black Friday Hours

Walmart employees, including some in Washington, DC, are protesting after learning "Black Friday" store hours start at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Walmart workers across the country are striking due to the stores opening earlier this year for the Black Friday weekend.

At this point, no strikes are planned for Northern Virginia locations; the closest to our area may happen at 4 p.m. Monday at the Capital Plaza Walmart in Washington, DC.

Casey Hoag, a campaign communications specialist for The United Food and Commercial Workers, said at the moment, there aren't any strikes planned in Northern Virginia. Between this past week and Thanksgiving, more than 1,000 worksite actions will take place nationwide.

Walmart employees all over the country have been striking for the past few months in protest to being silenced, long hours and little pay and issues with healthcare.

"These nationwide actions are all stemming from employee frustrations. The average associate makes $8.18 an hour. Walmart makes $16 billion in annual profits and executives bring home $10 million each," said Hoag in a recent email. "Surely Walmart can stop contributing to the growing problem of income disparity and start listening to the concerns of their workforce."

In early October, Walmart strike supporters spoke out at the Kingstowne Walmart and passed out flyers informing customers about the employees' concerns. The group visited different stores throughout that week to raise awareness.

"This is happening at about 250 stores and there are just as many workers who have walked off their jobs,” said Beth Pointer, an organizer for Making Change at Walmart.

In October, associates leading the strikes originally gave Walmart until Black Friday to meet their demands, including an opportunity to discuss their concerns with management and the end of alleged retaliations for speaking out. However, Walmart employees have continued to strike at different locations across the country.

Target Responds to Backlash Over Thanksgiving Hours

Target has also gotten some backlash after announcing they would open stores at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. According to DailyFinance, employees and supporters started a petition against the early opening at online petition site Change.org.

On Friday, Target responded to the campaign on "A Bullseye View," its official blog. The post explains that the early Thanksgiving Day opening plan was created after they received feedback from customers, who said they would prefer shopping right after Thanksgiving dinner instead of in the early hours on Friday. It also insists that Target employees' preferences were considered in making Thanksgiving work schedules.

Unlike Walmart, Target isn't facing organized labor actions during the Black Friday weekend, so at the moment, they're not budging on their early holiday openings.

JOE BLOW November 18, 2012 at 02:42 PM
THE HEADLINE OF THIS STORY IS A LIE ABSOLUTE FRAUD.WORKERS ARE STRIKING OVER POOR TREATMENT BY MANAGEMENT.ANNADALE MUST BE A RIGHT WING PUKE STAND.
Jordan Martin November 18, 2012 at 03:15 PM
It's going to be funny when they all get fired. If they don't like where they work then they need to get another job
Kay roland November 18, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Well Walmart do treat they workers poorly , and in this economy most people can't just find another job and Walmart know this so please keep ignorant comments to yourself.
shelby November 18, 2012 at 04:04 PM
These articles that keep saying WalMart is 'opening early" for Black Friday are starting to tick me off, let's get the REAL facts out there. WalMart is NOT closing for Thanksgiving PERIOD. It's not that they are opening early...they are going to be open ALL day on Thursday and all night Thursday night. In my opinion that puts them in an even worse light then just 'opening early'. No time off for employees to spend time with family during what I consider one of the most special holidays of the year........I would boycott them also, however as a underpaid employee of WalMart I HAVE to be there, I am working 6 out of 7 days in a row!! AND because they consider the week ending on Friday, none of those hours will fall into 'overtime' status!
Gene Debs November 18, 2012 at 04:10 PM
According to Business Week, a total of 42 actual WalMart employees (out of 1.4 million) participated in last month's action. Actually more outside union organizers than employees involved, but you would not know it from the press reports. These unhappy employees should work (interesting verb) toward making themselves employable somewhere else.
shelby November 18, 2012 at 04:44 PM
You say employees should work toward making themselves employable somewhere else? I am (or WAS) a retired veteran, I returned to work because my retirement no longer covers the cost of living. I live in a small town driven by tourism, therefore almost EVERYTHING but Walmart is seasonal employment.Not many options unless I choose to work seasonally and collect unemployment every winter like most people in this area.
Ron hobbs November 18, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I shop walmart and my son works for them and what I see while I am shopping is the employees are lazy and should be happy they have a job. My son has to work thanksgiving and thats part of retail we are still able to have thanksgiving together.
Katheleen T November 18, 2012 at 06:21 PM
I work for WALMART and can honestly say I love it. I am far from lazy. Yes,things could always be better at any job you work, but I am very fortunate to have a job. I am very educated as well. As far as Black Friday, I believe one of the biggest reasons for starting early is that the sales can be more spread out for customer safety. Face it, people get hurt every year. WALMART does good things for employees as well. We get bonuses quarterly, which helps make up for the not so great wages, 401I, which is competitive to other employees,stock, paid vacations as well as schooling to get more educated for those that choose to move up. Overall, you can slam WALMART for some things, but it has it's good points too.
shelby November 18, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I have yet to see a quarterly bonus, what is that?
Katheleen T November 18, 2012 at 06:46 PM
All employees get What is called a MY SHARE bonus quarterly. It can be up and over 2,000 bucks.
Katheleen T November 18, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I believe it is nationwide, but can't say for sure
Airborne120mph November 19, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Stupid workers. They are such greedy pigs asking for reasonable wages and benefits. Just because these warehouse workers, drivers, cashiers, greeters, etc. are the backbone that supports the multi-billion dollar money machine that just happens to erode local businesses and vacuums money from our cities and small towns to corporate bank accounts, and India and China, doesn't mean they deserve ANYTHING MORE. I mean the full time ones make anywhere from 10 to 15K a year, that's enough for such stupid and simple jobs they do. The CEO and execs gets bonuses as high as 22mil and are shareholders, but they deserve it! What are they suppose to take 20 mil instead of 22 because someone's kids got sick!? It's not their fault the kids sick. These workers dumb and will never get anywhere in life, so who cares about them not being able to afford things and have help when their medical issues and care needed in their familys. What is this France!!!? We're not communists and socialists! Corporations are always right and their profits are what matters!!! GO America!!! Best Country ever!!! And to everyone that says the workers don't have to work there! I TOTALLY agree!! They should just go get another job for more money and better benefits. Why are they so lazy and stupid that they don't think to do that? Or just to go school and be the CEO, then they'll probably see how stupid they're acting, I mean college is only like 25K a year, so they could just ask their parents for some money.
ruby cantrell November 19, 2012 at 12:55 AM
I work at Walmart ,5 years now .my coworkers and I have received 4 bonuses! I'm full time , my largest bonus was 489.00 ,smallest was 38.00. If an employee or customer has an accident that requires medical care, we don't get a bonus.in 2008 we didn't get one because our taxes had to be paid!
Katheleen T November 19, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Airborne120mph I would love to invite you to do my so called SIMPLE and STUPID job for one day. Your outlook would be different I assure you.
ree ree November 20, 2012 at 09:43 AM
Still confused about why the strike, let me help you some more. I have personally witnessed them putting an elderly associate outside in the blazing heat with no means to cool off for him to monitor the merchandise for a sidewalk tent sale. I have witnessed them having elderly associates push carts in the heat, and they did it to keep their jobs. And where were the managers you ask the top ones where inside of the air conditioned building sipping ice cold water wondering why they were moving so slow, because the customers needed carts to shop, to spend money.
ree ree November 20, 2012 at 09:58 AM
How about being made to do the work of what should take six people to do, told it has to be completed but not a click of overtime allowed but if you leave and it's not done you will be fired. What does that mean simple they don't care if it takes you working off the clock and not being paid the work had better be done, so you do it so you can come back for another four hours. And when the company says they will authorize overtime for cases such as hurricane sandy what they really mean is they are going to work you til you drop and then take you off the schedule for the remainder of the week and reduce your hours for next week but on no way are you going to benefit from those extra hours worked. This is about this companies greed and what they have done over the years to silence anyone who has spoken out about the mistreatment. Who really wants to lose their job this day and age. And as far as the bonuses they find ways to deduct from that as well. What makes walmart tolerable to work at are your coworkers not the company itself. We become like family helping sometimes by buying others lunch or loaning money to each other.
ree ree November 20, 2012 at 10:16 AM
Those of you saying walmart workers are lazy and want more than they deserve are ignorant to the inner workings of what truly goes on at your locale walmart. The pay wouldn't be to bad if they actually gave hours. But lord and behold they do that because then you would actually qualify for the benefits the company boast about. They put you in jeopardy by keeping stacks of money in the drawers and doing pulls while the store is still open to the public. Oh and don't get robbed your automatically said to be involved. Be educated on what really goes on in the nations number one retailer and how they continue to be that way. Instead of saying we don't appreciate our jobs or we want handouts or that we are lazy and uneducated, look at our side of things. The elderly people i mentioned beforehand what if that was your grandmother or grandfather? My manager is in her late sixties , and they run her like she is20 and talk to her like she's 10. Is that considered ethical treatment?? Learn where your low low prices are really coming from.
ree ree November 20, 2012 at 10:30 AM
And i will reiterate walmart workers want to work. The company schedules associates for sometimes ten hour work weeks. How does one live on that. You could make 25 dollars and not be able to live on that. Contrary to belief a good amount of us are in school. Walmart discourages this by cutting your hours even more with the excuse of you don't have open availability. Last i knew jobs compensated you for being on call. Walmart just calls it open availability same difference. No worker is asking for a handout or to sit home and still be paid. We want to be treated as human beings

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