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Protesters Call For Walmart To Pay A Living Wage

By Christopher Maue

A San Diego Wal-Mart store.

On any given Black Friday outside a Walmart store, there are some pretty common sights. Throngs of shoppers hungry for deals, Salvation Army volunteers ringing their signature bells. And protesters.

That’s right, protesters.

If union-backed groups that focus on the rights of Walmart employees had their way, labor activists were at almost 1,500 stores across the country this Black Friday. The protests are part of an attempt to draw attention to low wages, which the big box store pays its approximately 1.4 million employees.

Paul Sasso organized the San Diego event. He said it’s about creating a living wage for workers. “I mean a living wage and fair treatment is critical to the health of any society.”

To that end, Sasso said they will be asking shoppers to get involved by boycotting Walmart this holiday season.

“Our goal is to collect 500 signatures for a letter to the chairman of Walmart,” Sasso said.

Sasso said they are asking for all employees to be able to earn “a minimum wage of $25,000 a year and no retaliation against workers who ask for that.” He said they are trying to gather signatures, but really the protest is about raising awareness on the busiest shopping day of the year.

There has been a lot of controversy over the company's wages. An Ohio store held a food drive to help feed it’s own employees.

Wal-Mart made $17 billion last year. But the company don’t seem to be giving in to the protestor’s demands. It has said the company is focused on having the best holiday season for both customers and employees.

About 15 or so protestors braved the on-and-off drizzle at the San Diego Walmart on Murphy Canyon Road.

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