Wal-Mart protesters demand worker rights

Many were shopping on Black Friday, but some local people took part in a nation-wide protest against the country's biggest retailer.

The AFLCIO of Northern Indiana gathered outside of the Wal-Mart on the south side of South Bend to protest against the retailer's shopping on Thanksgiving Day, and t speak out for better jobs.

And those speaking out said they want Wal-Mart to recognize employee concerns about low wages and understaffing. They also said they were concerned over the early start to Black Friday, keeping workers from spending time with their families on Thanksgiving.

Protesters believe their work is paying off.

"It's already successful. This is unprecedented in Wal-Mart's history. It's about time it's caught up with wal-mart and their employees are trying to better themselves," said Jeff Kimbrough, a protestor.

Tony Flora, the President of the North Central Indiana AFL-CIO said , "I think certainly we are making a major difference, nationally. And our community is part of that national effort. This is happening across the united states today, in hundreds and hundreds of cities. Everywhere, people are saying, 'Wal-mart, it's time to allow your associates to have the ability to speak up to say what they think is good for them as employees at this work place.'"

But Wal-Mart thinks differently, and sent out a release explaining their thoughts on the protests.

“Only 26 protests occurred at stores last night and many of them did not include any Walmart associates," says Bill Simon, Wal-Mart's Pressident and Chief Executive Officer. “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."

It's unclear whether the protests will move forward. But Flora says, this is only the beginning.


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