As you shop for the deepest discounts tomorrow, beware that you get what you pay for.
That's the message from labor organizers, who have targeted Walmart stores for allegedly underpaying employees and then relying on food drives and public benefits for the workers' necessities.
The nationwide anti-Walmart demonstrations are coming to greater Los Angeles for Black Friday:
Labor organizations, including Warehouse Workers United and Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) will be bringing their point home at the Walmart at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza tomorrow from noon to 1 p.m.
Before that, from 6 to 8 a.m. they'll be at the Ontario Walmart.
Labor officials say Walmart benefits from “corporate welfare” by underpaying workers and then relying on the governmental and societal safety net for their well-being. Organizers of tomorrow's demonstrations say this in a statement:
Pointing to poverty wages that have forced Walmart workers to rely on food drives even though they work at a company with $17 billion in profits, the protesters are calling on Walmart to publicly commit to paying $25,000 a year, providing full-time work, and ending the retaliation against workers who have been speaking out for better jobs.
Organizers even claim that “Walmart workers don't have enough money to cover Thanksgiving dinner for their families.”
Rev. William Smart says:
Our community needs good jobs. Walmart can improve jobs – and it must. We are standing together to tell the Walton family and Walmart that our country needs more from our largest employer.
[Updated at 5:10 p.m.]: A Walmart spokesman sent us a lengthy response that says most of the protesters are union members and that less than 50 Walmart workers actually participated in Black Friday protests nationwide last year:
Most of the participating protesters will not be Walmart associates but rather paid union members or professional organizers trying to give you the impression they are Walmart employees when in fact, very few Walmart employees will be participating. These false astroturf protests are designed to give you the impression that they are orchestrated and attended by Walmart associates. They are clearly being organized by unions and most of the participants will be paid union organizers.
… Most of the individuals wearing the lime green tee shirts you'll see at the protest will not actually be Walmart associates.