Walmart workers rally against their employer
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Black Friday at Walmart gave some employees a chance to try to give the company a 'black' eye. They walked in protest of low wages against the giant retailer.
"It's a struggle," says longtime Walmart employee Patricia Scott. She's been at this store 17 years and doesn't believe the company provides high enough wages to live on and seeks a $15 an hour minimum.
"It's really hard. I support a family of five and I can't do it," Scott said. "It's almost impossible to pay rent."
In an effort to prove their point, the civic organizations that sponsored this event set up a food bank for Walmart employees and other folks claiming wages aren't sufficient to survive on.
Sonny Timm is a new Walmart employee and received one of the food packages.
"A little potatoes. I've got bread, sugar, I've got stove top stuffing. I've got spaghetti noodles. I've got oil.... I can't even see it all," Timm said.
Organizers say they have $5,225 worth of food. They claim that's the amount of money a day that Walmart CEO Douglas McMillon has for food. Using the same measure, they claim the average Walmart worker has $4.95 a day for food.
The company issued this statement: "Our average full time hourly associate earns more than $13 an hour in addition to the opportunity for quarterly cash bonuses, matching 401k and healthcare benefits."
Melissa Baylor has been here nine years and is at odds with the demonstrators outside. "I really find it unfortunate that they did not find happiness with Walmart," she said. "I wish each and every one of them the best, but Walmart is great for me."
Val Jean Nestor-Comboy agreed. "I've been with Walmart for 17 years and I've had no complaints," she said. "They've always treated me fairly. I make a decent wage."
Despite the large presence of protestors, at no time did they try to disrupt the shopping experience. Customers were able to come and go as they please... taking advantage of the deals on Black Friday.
The employee action at Federal Way was the only place in the state where demonstrators made their presence known.