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Walmart Labor Protests Grow, Organizers Say

New York Times (10/10/12) Steven Greenhouse

Protests against Walmart expanded on Oct. 9, spreading to 28 stores in 12 states, in an effort to increase pressure on the retailer as the holiday season approaches. Dan Schlademan, director of the union-backed Making Change at Walmart campaign, added that more than 200 employees were traveling to Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, AR, to stage a protest on Oct. 10 during the company’s annual meeting with financial analysts, and warned that disgruntled Walmart employees, joined by labor unions and community groups, might stage a combined protest and educational campaign the Friday after Thanksgiving, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. Organizers say the protests are aimed at pressing Walmart to increase wages, stop cutting workers’ hours, and treat employees with respect. Many workers at Walmart warehouses were hired through temporary staffing firms.