Photos: Walmart Workers, Even Santa, Arrested During Protest
While folks are out fighting each other for Black Friday deals today, Walmart employees are staging large protests at 1,500 locations around the nation today for better work conditions and higher pay. At one of the protests at an Ontario Walmart location, employees were arrested today, along with a man dressed as Santa.
The Ontario rally began at 6 a.m., and of the nearly 100 protesters outside of the Ontario location, ten were handcuffed, including the one in the St. Nick outfit, according to ABC7 and KTLA. Ten of the protesters had marched in the street, while the other protesters walked along the sidewalk, reported the Los Angeles Times.
A second protest is scheduled for noon today at the Walmart at 4101 Crenshaw Blvd. in Los Angeles. Warehouse Workers United told KTLA that most Walmart employees make less than $17,000 a year, while the federal poverty level for a family of four is $23,500. Bill Simon, the president and CEO of Wal-Mart, had said in September that half of his employees in the nation make $25,000 a year.
Elizabeth Brennan, who works with Warehouse Workers United, a group that has organized the protests, told LAist that it's been an "ongoing discussion" about how Walmart treats its employees. She added that when some employees have spoken up about their poverty wages, they've had their hours cut and even some have been fired.
"We're creating a national dialogue about the country’s largest retailer in its role in creating great jobs in the economy," said Brennan.
Warehouse Workers United tweeted the events of this morning's protest in Ontario: