Black Friday Brings Protests Outside Long Beach Walmartst

30 Nov

More than 30 people protested outside the Walmart in downtown Long Beach on Friday, Nov. 29, as part of a national protest against Walmart’s treatment of its workers.

One protester was D. Elizabeth Martin. Martin, who is a practicing lawyer and who once lived in Long Beach but now Orange County, said, “I’m here because we need to start learning that corporate greed and corporate welfare always seems to go unnoticed and it is the poor who pay the price for it and it is the poor who are stigmatized for it. Every Walmart store in the United States costs us on average $500,000 a year between (sic) the taxes lost, the food stamps their employee are qualified for, (and) the state insurance they qualify for. So, the low prices you see are not really low prices. We are all paying taxes to support the low wages of their workers.”

Martin’s law partner, Richard Spix, said, “Walmart has earned my eternal scorn and derision through their nefarious business…model that has so many well-known defects an inhuman treatment along their entire supply chain.”
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Walmart, in a press release signed by David Tovar, Vice President, Corporate Communications, said, in part, “We’re not surprised that those trying to change our industry are using this platform to get their message out, and we respect their right to be heard. We expect some demonstrations at our stores today, although far fewer than what our critics are claiming and with hardly any actual Walmart associates participating. For our part, we want to be absolutely clear about our jobs, the pay and benefits we offer our associates, and the role retail jobs play in the U.S. economy. Walmart provides wages on the higher end of the retail average with full-time and part-time associates making, on average, close to $12.00 an hour. The majority of our workforce is full-time, and our average full-time hourly pay is $12.81 an hour. We are also proud of the benefits we offer our associates, including affordable health care, performance-based bonuses, education benefits, and access to a 401K.”

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