Walmart protesters demand better wages

Demonstrators outside of a Walmart also showed solidarity with the family of a black teen killed by a white police officer.

Walmart protesters demand better wages

World Bulletin/News Desk

Protesters gathered in front of a Walmart store in the nation’s capital Friday to demand better wages and show support for the family of a black teen killed by a white police officer.

Hundreds of demonstrators pressed Walmart’s management to raise the minimum pay for full-time workers to $15 an hour, amid chants of “Shut it down!,” in response to what they say is the company’s poor treatment of its employees.

Protesters formed in front of Washington’s Union Station, a major transportation hub, then marched under police control toward a local Walmart.

The demonstration was coordinated by the Organization United for Respect at Walmart, or OUR Walmart, that was founded in 2011 in order to improve working conditions at the retail giant.

"We are here to stand with our neighbors, with the workers of this corporation,” said Refry Hegler, a march leader. “We are here to demand Walmart, the greedy Walmart, to share its resources with workers," he said.

Full-time Walmart employee, Travise, who did not give his last name, was among the protesters. "I am here today to protest Walmart’s illegal threats against workers who are standing up for their pay of full time hours. Even now I work 40 hours a week, I still make $25,000 a year," said Travise, who has been with the company four years.

In addition to fighting for better wages and working conditions, Walmart demonstrators also rallied against a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to bring charges against a white Ferguson police officer who killed an unarmed black teen in August.

Monday’s decision by the grand jury not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown set off a wave of violent protests in Ferguson and around the U.S. Some protestors called for a boycott of retailers during the important Black Friday shopping weekend.

Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday and which marks the start of the U.S. Christmas shopping season, has gradually expanded to see stores now opening late Thanksgiving night. It is generally considered the busiest shopping day of the year.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Kasım 2014, 13:27

Muhammed Öylek