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Policy: Labor

Walmart on Thursday protests: 'The UFCW threw a party and nobody showed up'

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Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,Labor unions,Labor,AFL-CIO,Walmart

Walmart issued the following statement this afternoon in response to protest events orchestrated by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union-backed group OUR Walmart on Thursday:

Once again, it looks like the UFCW threw a party and nobody showed up. Despite promises of ‘thousands of workers’ protesting this week, the union failed to deliver more than a smattering of paid protesters at their 15 orchestrated events. At most, 50 of the participants actually work for Walmart, put another way, that’s less than one-tenth of one percent of our 1.3 million associates.

The statement by David Tovar, Walmart voice president for corporate communications, added: "The UFCW is quickly becoming the boy who cried wolf. They put out news releases with big promises, but fail to deliver on those promises. It was proven again this week that the OUR Walmart group doesn’t speak for the vast majority of Walmart associates."

A Washington Examiner look at news reports of the protests in the 11 cities that held them (OUR Walmart had promised 15 cities) found that Few of the protesters were actual employees of the nonunion retail giant.

UFCW has nevertheless highlighted that 100 people were arrested at the protests, obscuring the fact that most were activists, not employees.

The union says it is planning follow-up protests for the post-Thanksgiving "black Friday" shopping day, repeating an effort from last year that also had scant participation from Walmart employees.

The UFCW is demanding that the retailer pay its associates $25,000 a year. The union represents many workers employed by major Walmart competitors, including Safety, Kroger and Giant food stores.

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