Black Friday bargains at the cost of worker’s rights?

Black Friday for some is a day of bargains, and a sign that Christmas is almost here, but for Wal-Mart employees, the day signifies protests against poor working conditions and low pay.

Wal-Mart is seeing its biggest ever Black Friday today but not just with early Christmas shoppers. Employees at Wal-Mart are using the day in order to raise awareness about unfair working environments.

For the third year in a row, Labour organisers alongside workers are staging a revolt against the company acknowledging that the people serving customers, ‘cannot afford to feed themselves’. In America, protests are planned for at least 1600 stores, all of which do not allow their staff reasonable hours, or reasonable pay.

Barbara Gertz, an overnight stocker in Wal-Mart Colorado, claims her family are struggling to make ends meet. She has tried to raise awareness to the company about the ‘impact on workers at busy times, but has struggled to get a response’.

Wal-Mart has claimed that even its Asda stores in England will have ‘earth-shattering prices’, yet pay ‘poverty wages and use part-time schedules to avoid offering workers benefits’. The company’s employment schedule costs taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.75 million per year because so many of its employees are forced to turn to the government for aid.

So next time you get that bargain deal, think of the conditions workers are having to slave in, in order to allow that deal to take place.

Picture: Geograph – Nigel Cox

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