Unhappy Walmart employees and their supporters are protesting across the United States, seeking to make their demands more visible to the Americans flocking to the Black Friday shopping frenzy. The protestors were calling for better wages, benefits, and working conditions for the employees.
At the Renton Walmart, hundreds of protesters marched through the parking lot. But a KING 5 crew could only find two current employees. One called in sick to take part in the protest, the other was taking part on her day off. Other picketers included local union members supporting the push to unionize Walmart employees.
The protesting employees said their co-workers were too afraid to take part fearing retaliation from the managers.
The Walmarts in Mount Vernon and Port Angeles also saw similar demonstrations.
Shoppers outside the Renton store said while they were sympathetic, they were here to shop for Black Friday deals.
But there were many empty spaces in the parking lot, so it was hard to determine how many shoppers chose to give other retailers their business because of the labor issue.
A Walmart spokesperson said 60 percent fewer employees called in sick this year on Black Friday than the same day the year before, and that they had no reports of anyone taking off their badge to "walk out."