Arrests Made During California Wal-Mart Protest
The holiday season is kicking off with fights and arrests. Ten people were arrested during a protest outside of a Wal-Mart in Ontario, Calif., where protestors were calling for higher wages and better working conditions for employees. Ontario Police Department Sgt. David McBride said the arrests came after protesters moved into an intersection and failed to disperse.
Approximately 150 people attended the rally in Ontario, although it’s unclear how many invlved were Wal-Mart workers. Arrests notwithstanding, McBride called the protest “peaceful” overall. Protests also took place outside of Wal-Mart stores in Virginia, Massachusetts, Florida Washington, Colorado and Maryland. At the Chicago protest, 10 people were issued citations for blocking a roadway.
The protestors throughout the country are calling for Wal-Mart to pay its employees at least $25,000 per year; nearly 1.2 million hourly associates currently earn just $12 per hour and are eligible for $2,500 in bonuses. Spokesman David Tovar said that “over 50 percent” of the hourly associates are full-time employees who work 37 hours per week.
Workers are considered full-time if they work more than 34 hours per week, but the store also holds numerous part-time positions that average 27 hours per week. A Wal-Mart presentation from last September showed that less than 40 percent of the hourly associates earned over $25,000 last year.
Wal-Mart has not addressed any of the protests or rallies outside of their stores on Black Friday, but the objections over the store’s salary and hours for its employees have continued to be an ongoing problem.