The Walmart Protest for Black Friday

This post was contributed by Marni Halasa, a member of Alt Banking. It does not represent a consensus view of the Alternative Banking Working Group of Occupy Wall Street. 

It was fantastic to see hundreds of protesters coming out last friday in Secaucus, New Jersey, to support the rights of Walmart workers.

It was a large community gathering —  not just Walmart employees, but street activists from Occupy Wall Street labor groups, unionized workers from the Service Employees International Union and the United Auto Workers as well as concerned citizens from local community groups.

Of course, I had to lend my 2 cents, dressing up in a Marie-Antoinette costume on skates with sign stating:  ”Social Mobility? Walmart Sez: EAT THIS 99%!”

And even though Walmart claimed that the nationwide protests did not disrupt consumer spending on Black Friday, no matter — the bad publicity on how the retail giant treats its workers (no living wages — critics say the hourly average is $8.81 a hour, no opportunity for full-time work, no affordable healthcare, bullying tactics by management for organizing, etc.) has already done it’s damage.

My advice: do not shop there!