SECAUCUS – A coalition of concerned workers and residents that are part of Wal-Mart Free NYC plan to protest for worker’s rights at Wal-Mart in Secaucus on Black Friday, which is usually the biggest shopping day of the year. The demonstration is part of a national movement in solidarity with strikes taking place at Wal-Mart stores across the country. The organizing group anticipates over 100 people from the surrounding area will attend the event, which begins at 1 p.m.
“Wal-Mart has retaliated against those who speak out for better work conditions and wages,” said spokesperson Raymond Rodriguez. Wal-Mart has filed a complaint against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union with the National Labor Relations Board, asking for a restraining order against the protests and demonstrations, saying they will disrupt business.
Rodriguez alleges that some workers have been fired from their jobs or have had their hours cut for speaking out against the company.
He added that Wal-Mart Free NYC was protesting other actions allegedly taken by Wal-Mart, such as asking employees to show up to work at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day as well as allegedly requiring employees to pay 36 percent more on their health care premiums beginning in 2013.
“Their wages are not enough for people to provide for their families,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said that no workers from the Secaucus Wal-Mart will be involved in the actual protest and no one at the location is going on strike.
A Wal-Mart spokesman told the New York Post that “union-backed protesters have exaggerated the scope of their recent activities, which he said have won the participation of only a ‘small minority’ of the retailer’s work force.”
“Most of the numbers of people the UFCW claims at their events aren’t even Wal-Mart workers,” spokesman Steven Restivo was quoted as saying in the news report. “They are union representatives and other union members.”