Black Friday protesters at Cleveland-area Walmart Stores Say the World's Largest Retailer Pays Workers Too Little

November 29, 2013 | | The Plain Dealer |

They walked through the parking lot of the Walmart Supercenter at Oakwood Commons, handing out fliers, then continued into the store with the same message for the Black Friday bargain hunters: Walmart pays its workers too little.

The protest at the Warrensville Center Road store Friday afternoon and an early morning one at the Walmart on Brookpark Road in Cleveland were among those that took place across the country. About 1,500 protests were held nationally, according to OUR Walmart, a group of associates, former associates and supporters, pushing for higher wages and better working conditions for workers. Some included strikes and civil disobedience demonstrations, in which protesters in nine cities including Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C., were arrested, organizers said.

Several shoppers, who would not give their names, said they agreed with the protesters about higher wages, but questioned whether better pay would lead to higher prices. They said the hunt for bargains is what drew them to Walmart.

Supporters of raises say that Walmart profits are sufficient enough to increase salaries. For example, instead of spending billions each year to buy back shares of its own stock in an effort to boost the price of shares, the company could redirect those funds to employee raises, according to a recent study by Demos, a "progressive" think tank.

Read the full brief: A Higher Wage Is Possible