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Iowa City Walmart Picketed on Black Friday

The small protest was in solidarity with national protests about Walmart's low wages nationally.


A small band of protesters gathered together out in the cold on Black Friday to protest outside the Iowa City Walmart branch of the shopping chain.

Mitchell Schmidt of the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that there were as many 15 protesters outside the shopping center at 919 Highway 1 in the early afternoon Friday:

Iowa City resident Daniel Johnson-O’Mara said the group organized to draw attention to Walmark employees’ low wages. The average wage of a Walmart employee — $8.81 an hour — is not enough to support oneself, let alone a family, he said.

“You can’t make a living on nine bucks an hour, and they’re trying to raise families,” Johnson-O’Mara said. “That’s not a living wage. People should be able to work for Walmart for a living, that’s what we’re saying.”

This was apparently part of several similar protests against Walmart across the country in as many as 46 states. The protests included walkouts by striking employees.

The retail giant felt it was important enough to issue a press release stating that it had still had its best Black Friday ever and "that its stores rang up almost 10 million transactions from the time doors opened for Black Friday shoppers at 8 p.m. Thursday until midnight, or about 5,000 items per second."

That's not all. As some employees were striking outside of the stores all over America, other protesters with a different agenda were protesting inside, as strident pet owners urged Walmart to stop selling Chicken jerky treats made in China that have been linked to animal deaths.

fred allred November 24, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Walmart is unfair to its employees and its customers as their is never enough regisiters open and customers are required to stand in long lines.I refuse to shop there anymore.
robert knipling November 24, 2012 at 01:21 PM
unionize. walmart can't outsource its' employees!
Maria Houser Conzemius November 24, 2012 at 06:12 PM
+1, fred allred! Walmart also doesn't pay a living wage and started the new "tradition" of opening retail stores on Thanksgiving Day so employees have to work on a major holiday instead of spending the whole day with family.
Maria Houser Conzemius November 24, 2012 at 06:13 PM
+1, robert knipling! As you know, we taxpayers subsidize Walmart employees to the tune of over $400,000 per store with food stamps, Medicaid, and Section 8 housing because Walmart won't pay a living wage.
James Porkster November 26, 2012 at 07:50 AM
No ones forcing them to work there, nor is anyone forcing you to shop there. People just want something to moan about. I don't see anyone attacking Kmart, or Sears, or Target or any of the Grocery stores or any of the other millions of jobs that all start at 8 an hour. They should be lucky that they're even getting that much, they could be getting minimum wage, and in GA that's like 5.50 an hour and only 8 in CA. This problem is simple... don't like the service or the product? then don't shop there. Don't like the pay or the management? then don't work there. Problem solved. People think Walmart owes them something more cause they failed to make a better life for themselves and think Walmart is there for the failed, needy, and poor cause that's the consumer they target and attract. Well, you're wrong. Walmart absorbed so many self owned and small businesses that it's not even funny. They didn't care about them, what makes you think they would care about you? Sick of hearing about this... find another job.... it is not hard. Demanding higher pay cause you think you earned it? or just cause you think they can afford it?
James Porkster November 26, 2012 at 07:50 AM
Well, if you think you deserve more than 8 an hour running a register then you're a lost cause, same if you think putting things on a shelf deserves more than 8 an hour. Have you been in these stores? These are simple jobs that monkeys could do, and do better. If anything pay should be better based of performance. Cause more than half of the people working at Walmart can't even do those jobs right. If I owned Walmart, I'd drop it to minimum wage just cause of these greedy people and then I'd give 10 an hour to the ones that actually want to work there and do their jobs well. I'd first and foremost fire every single employee that was involved with these boycotts and red flag them and their immediate family from ever being hired at any Walmart for life. You know... Life is only as hard as you make it. I worked at Walmart for a long time before I realized this... and now I'm working someplace else for better pay and better hours and i'm happy. No one can help you but yourself. So go out and do it cause you're crazy to think that Walmart will raise their base pay just cause you feel they should. Business doesn't work that way, you're simply not doing work worth more than what Walmart is paying you. and like i said... if you think you are doing work worth more.. then you're a lost cause because Walmart should be paying ya'll minimum wage.
Matthew Georges November 27, 2012 at 02:37 AM
There is a federal minimum wage James, and it is $7.25/hr.
Maria Houser Conzemius November 29, 2012 at 05:02 PM
James Porkster, have you heard of managers and assistant managers in retail who've been fired and forced to reapply and work for a lower wage? Senior management has all sorts of clever ways to enforce their payroll quotas to make sure they get the most amount of money and people on the bottom suffer more than they should. People have a right to work for a living wage, and too many in the disappearing middle class and working class don't work for a living wage and won't take too much more abuse.
Maria Houser Conzemius November 29, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Billy, dang. Thanks for letting me know.

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