Huffpo: Walmart Strike Hits 100 Cities, But Fails To Distract Black Friday Shoppers

From Huffington Post:

DALLAS and LOS ANGELES — As she neared the entrance of a Dallas Walmart shortly before midnight on the eve of the shopping frenzy known as Black Friday, Tammy was both shocked and thrilled to encounter a group of more than 40 protesters.

Having worked for a dozen years as a cashier at another national retail chain, Walgreens, Tammy said she felt an immediate sense of solidarity with the Walmart employees.

“Walmart cuts hours and benefits to push people out,” said Tammy, using her phone to capture video of the protest. “It’s the same thing at Walgreens. The workers are suffering while billionaires make all the money.”

But despite her professed anger at corporate greed, Tammy — who declined to provide her last name lest she jeopardize her job — was not deterred from entering Walmart to purchase a TV on a layaway plan. Her own low wages made her feel a sense of community with the striking Walmart workers, but those same wages also generated pressure to find and buy goods at low prices — precisely the demand that Walmart has fed to turn itself into the world’s largest retailer.

“You gotta go where the sales are,” Tammy said. “Today at Walgreens every toy was half off. I had to work a 12-hour shift, and they didn’t pay me enough. But I can’t tell shoppers, ‘Don’t come in.’ I’d lose my job.”

Tammy wasn’t the only passerby who felt sympathy for the Walmart strikers. In 100 cities across 46 states Thursday and Friday, the protesters were likely to be met by honks and fist pumps from cars as they waved signs and chanted outside Walmart stores. At the Walmart in Paramount, Calif., near Los Angeles, about 600 protesters, including an estimated 100 Walmart workers, turned out Friday morning. In Hanover, Md., 400 store employees, union workers, activists and other supporters showed up at a Walmart Supercenter Friday.

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