Walmart Black Friday protesters in Connecticut

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HARTFORD-- Black Friday is best known as the day when big-box retailers rake in money, but it has also become a time for some of their employees to demand a share of the proceeds.

A group of more than 50 protesters gathered in front of the Flatbush Avenue Walmart in Hartford Friday afternoon.

"Walmart employs a large number of people, and yet they`re paying them a low wage, not enough to live on," said Cornell Lewis, a local social activist and an organizer of the protest.

The protesters demanded the company pay higher living wages to its employees--- calls for $15.00/hour.

The  demand better a working environment for employees.

This protest is similar to other Black Friday protests taking place nationwide at an estimated 1,600 Walmart locations.

Cornell Lewis -- who helped organize this protest -- also draws comparison between Friday's protest at Walmart and the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

"The powerful are oppressing people in Ferguson and Walmart is oppressing people at this particular store and in other stores throughout the country," Lewis said.

Walmart maintains it offers fair wages for all its employees.

The company employs more than 1.3 million U.S. associates at more than 4,900 stores and clubs nationwide.

In 2013, Walmart says it promoted about 170,000 people to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.

The average, full-time hourly wage in the  U.S. for a Walmart employee is $12.94.

"When you work for Walmart, then you see the benefit of it, you`re able to take care of your family, you can do so much," said Mala Venkatasammy, a front end supervisor at the Flatbush Avenue Walmart.

Hartford Police were called to ensure order after protesters were told to leave Walmart property.

The group moved to a nearby grassy median off the property, and there were no arrests.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal reacted to these Black Friday protests, the senator has critical in the past of Walmart company practices.

"I strongly support their efforts for fairness and justice in the workpace, not only in pay but also working conditions," Blumenthal said.

A Walmart store manager says no employees walked off the job Friday at the Flatbush Avenue store.

 

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7 comments

  • greasynick

    Well if the workers Do not like the pay, Why Oh Why do they keep working there ? Why because some of them Can`t make correct change even when the Cash Register tells them how much. So if they Don`t like the pay LEAVE !

  • get back 2 work !

    Lmao just like occupy wallstreet , mcdonalds employees making $15 / hr , and least I not forget overturning the stand your ground law …..how did those things turn out ?

  • Stugotz

    They demand $15 an hour for doing what? Poor customer service? Bringing product to the front of the shelf? Standing there with a miserable look on your face as a cashier and not caring in the least about how you treat that customer that is keeping your job in place? No, in my opinion $15 an hour is too much for a job like that. I worked retail and food service for many many years. Well into my late 20s. I wasn’t happy with the pay. You know what I did? I got a much better job. Higher responsibility. NOT in retail or food service. That’s the problem. Too many people not wanting to work for their money. Just want it handed to them on a Walmart platter. Sad state of affairs we’ll be in if they ever succeed with this. People… go out and get a better job! Leave the low wage, part time positions to the high school kids and retirees that are just looking for something to do.

  • Smoke Fire

    Love how all the union leaders are protesting for Wal-Mart workers to get 15.00 per hr, when those same union leaders are bringing down 6 figure salaries for themselves. More BS.

  • Bob

    Noone is forcing these people to work there. If they are that unhappy leave I am certain many others would be happy to take this job Its better than nothing. As for Blumenthal this is a private business not a govt business Stay out of it If you feel these people should be paid more thanpay out of your own pocket Dont get involved unless your willing to pay yourself what you state walmart and others should be paying To demand minimum wage be as high as you state is just outrageous Do you not realize if you and others force these business’s to increase minimum wage to the point you state how many jobs will be lost as in no job at all to make up the difference in monies paid out? Do you have any clue Mr Blumenthal of reality anymore? I dont think so . Yes I also admit its hard to work for and live on minimun wage but those jobs are better than nothing and were never intended to be the sole support of a family One may just have to work two jobs to make a better living.

  • martha

    There are plenty of jobs that don’t pay 15.00 hr. You should be happy you have a job and if it’s nit enough do like everyone else and get a second job

  • EricaP

    I worked at this same Walmart the pay and management sucks here I didn’t like it but I didnt protest against the store I enrolled in college and became a nurse if working in a place like walmart is so horrible to work at wouldn’t you want to make a change