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Day laborers protest after being asked to leave Phoenix Walmart property

(KTAR Photo/Cooper Rummell)

PHOENIX — Day laborers are fighting back against a central Phoenix Walmart that has asked them to stay off its property.

For several years, laborers have solicited work in the parking lot of the Walmart location near 38th Street and Thomas Road, next to a Home Depot store.

A recent stabbing after a fight between two of the day laborers led the company to demand the workers leave their property. A company representative said the decision was made due to safety concerns.

“It has become clear, especially with the recent stabbing, that there are safety concerns that we need to address and, on behalf of our customers and our associates, we have a responsibility to create a safe working and shopping environment,” Delia Garcia, a Walmart spokesperson, said.

Laborers gathered in a public right-of-way near the Walmart Thursday to protest the store’s decision. One laborer, who identified himself only as Jose, said the stabbing was an isolated incident and the store has no need to kick them off the property.

“We are just out here to look for work, we don’t want any problems,” he said. “(We want Walmart) to open up their hearts and to actually give us a chance and we will show them that we can actually be pretty good neighbors.”

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