Los Angeles News
LOS ANGELES—After a call made on Friday morning, police broke up a large-scale protest outside of the Walmart in Paramount where nearly 500 people surrounded the streets and sidewalks.
Police arrested nine protestors, three of whom are Walmart employees, and shut down the streets of Lakewood Boulevard and Rosecrans Avenue at around 12:00 p.m. on Black Friday during an organized protest against Walmart’s alleged mistreatment of its employees. According to reports, the protestors who were arrested refused to move as they sat on the street’s ground while claiming that Walmart has repeatedly silenced their request for better pay, fair schedules, and more affordable health care. The Los Angeles protest on Friday was one among many others throughout the country, as the union-backed group OUR Walmart (Organized United for Respect at Walmart) demonstrated protests in Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and many other cities.
This year, Walmart decided to start Black Friday even earlier than usual, opening the doors and starting sales as early as 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. Many employees stated their frustration with having to sacrifice a time meant for family for the same company that retaliates against their speaking out against lack of respect for workers.
Walmart has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that these demonstrations violate the National Labor Relations Act. This law states that unless a petition is filed to form a union, employees and other protestors cannot picket for over 30 days. Due to the complex nature of the issue, the NLRB will not be issuing a ruling until next week.
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