Union protests over Walmart wages - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Union protests over Walmart wages

Union workers protest outside the Raggard Road store over the wages paid by Walmart to its employees. Union workers protest outside the Raggard Road store over the wages paid by Walmart to its employees.
Paul Whiteley, Jr. Paul Whiteley, Jr.
Protesters are informed by Louisville Metro Police to move off the Walmart property. Protesters are informed by Louisville Metro Police to move off the Walmart property.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – As Walmart reports record Black Friday sales, one store in the Metro got a crowd they weren't really counting on. A group of 150 union protesters showed up at the Pleasure Ridge Park store angry with the retail giant over how much they pay their employees and the benefits they offer.

"We are here in support of Walmart workers who to support the workers who are not receiving their fair wage, fair benefits or adequate time off for the holidays," shouted Mariana Ashey, lone of the protesters.

The protest, a Black Friday backlash, that brought the protestors to the Raggard Road store was organized by the United Commercial Food Workers Union. Walmart is not unionized.

"It's upsetting with me because of the fact that these people don't have enough money to pay for what they need to live," another protester told us.

A store spokesperson told WAVE 3 News their hourly employees get paid an average of $12.81 an hour and that doesn't include management.

"As many as 825,000 Walmart employees make less than $25,000 a year," said Paul Whiteley, a union representative. "In part that's due to low wages, in part that's due to part time jobs."

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott (D-District 1) said Walmart needs to shape up as word that a supercenter may be coming to her district.

"The largest employer in the world should be ashamed of itself," said Scott.

Walmart says 900,000 employees worked for Black Friday. The company paid $70 million in holiday pay. Those employees will also receive a 25% discount towards a purchase.

Most of the protesters Friday were not Walmart employees. The union said that's because the employees are intimidated by the company. The Walmart spokesperson said that's because their employees are not angry over the wage.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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