Walmart walkout could affect Connecticut stores on Friday
By WFSB Staff
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -
Details of a reported nationwide Walmart walk-out have been outlined on a website called Making Change at Walmart, and in Hartford, an email is also circulating asking workers to protest for better pay and respect on Black Friday.
Black Friday is notoriously known as the biggest shopping day of the year, especially for big box stores such as Walmart.
However, nationwide protests are planned, including in Hartford, for the shopping holiday. In an email obtained by Eyewitness News, people are asking employees and supporters to stand in solidarity and demand Walmart pay employees their fair share.
"They don't treat employees fairly and I know that because I worked there," said Deborah Cruz of Hartford. "They don't want to pay overtime basically. They tell you, 'Don't go over your hours or you'll get a warning.'"
Cruz worked at the store on Flatbush Avenue until August, when she left because she got sick.
"They don't care about their employees," she told Eyewitness News.
Some customers such as Jay Roman said timing is everything.
"As a shopper I don't agree with this," he said. "I don't think they should pick this time for their dispute."
Protestors online said they want to stop the company's attempt to silence employees who speak out for change. Walmart isn't unionized, but these planned demonstrations have some union support including from the United Food and Commercial Workers.
"I feel they should get a raise," said customer Ed LePage.
United Food and Commercial Workers did not return calls by Eyewitness News.
Walmart officials confirm the company did file an unfair labor practice charge with the national Labor Relations Board last week against UFCW to try to stop any planned protests.
Walmart officials called this another UFCW publicity stunt to gain control of their employees and said they don't expect the actions by a small minority to have any impact on stores or customers' shopping experiences Friday.
"I feel it's a shame really," said Constance Erskine. "Walmart needs to pay workers."
There are 33 Walmart stores here in Connecticut with 8,500 employees total. It's unclear how many are planning to protest.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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