Black Friday Protest Planned at Edison Walmart

EDISON, NJ—The Walmart in South Edison, located at 2220 State Route 27, is one of 1,600 across the country where a "Black Friday" protest is planned for November 28 at 9AM.

Workers and supporters are planning to push for a $ 15 per hour wage and consistent full-time work.

Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated is the largest private employer in the United States and has often been central to the debate over proposals to raise the minimum wage.

OUR Walmart, a "pressure group" representing Walmart’s hourly workers, is affiliated with and partly funded by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.  

The protests would be the "biggest Black Friday strike to date," a spokeswoman for OUR Walmart said during a recent conference call.

ActionNetwork.org, a progressive online organizing platform, hosts instructions and many organizing tools to help with the protests.

One PDF, “Participation Instructions – Details on How You Can Participate,” says: “Just 30-45 minutes will do the trick sometime between 7 and 10 AM”

But according to a Walmart spokesman, "a very small fraction" of employees will participate, he said, adding that the company offers “very competitive wages” and most employees are full-time.

“Workers at Walmart want the company to publicly commit to paying them for their hard work, but a select few behind the country’s largest employer are robbing them of a decent living,” states the website.

The “What You Can Do,” section says: “Show up on Black Friday at a Walmart near you to send Walmart a message. It could be you, you and a few friends, or you could recruit 20 people to have a rally with you if you’re ambitious! Post your action on the Action Network and invite others to join. It is possible that others from your community will come join you!"

Over a dozen PDF’s even include templates and, along with the “free tools” for holding a protest, are available on the website:

  • Rules for successful action – follow these guidelines to ensure things go well
  • Dear Walmart Store Manager – deliver this letter to the store manager, outlining why you stand with #WalmartStrikers
  • Leaflet For Workers – you can pass these out to Walmart Associates
  • Customer Flyer – pass this flyer out to customers explaining why you are supporting Walmart Strikers
  • Signs – printable posters to hand out, a chant sheet – for those of you who love to use your outside voices,
  • A selfie poster –use this to take your selfie and post to social media.

Robert Reich, The American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator explains, in a video, how 1.4 million Americans could get raises today.

“Meet the Walton’s, they inherited control of Walmart. With over 150 billion dollars they are by far the richest family in America. So how much money do the Walton’s really have? Well, if they sat there and counted it by hand, in 20 dollar bills they’d be sitting there and counting for more than 2 centuries. Every day the Walton’s collect 8.5 million in Walmart dividends. That’s enough to buy an Average American house every hour. Pretty soon they’d own the whole neighborhood. Walmart workers help the Walton’s build their fortune but many are just struggling to get buy. Most make less than $25,000 per year. With wages so low, it’s no wonder that Walmart workers at one store held a food drive for each other. But the Walton’s, with their immense wealth, can afford to pay workers $15/hour and provide access to full time work. In fact, a Demos study found that just by redirecting money that has gone to repurchasing shares in the company, Walmart could give 825,000 workers earning less than $25,000 a year a raise of more than $5/hour. And that doesn’t just help Walmart workers – that helps everyone. That same study found that paying workers at least $25,000 per year could raise the living standards of at least 5 million American households and feed back into our economy. While the Walton’s continue to multiply their fortune, taxpayers end up footing the bill for Walmart’s low wages. Every year, American taxpayers spend an estimated 6 billion for Medicaid, Food stamps and other programs to help Walmart workers scrape by. The Walton family can afford to pay their worker $15/hour and provide full time jobs while still running a very profitable and successful business.”

Dave is an award-winning business reporter who has authored over 200 articles for New Brunswick Today.