Wal-mart employees plan Black Friday protests

Nov 26, 2014, 5:30 AM | Updated: 5:30 am

PHOENIX — Wal-mart and other retailers will be open for business on Thanksgiving Day.

Meanwhile, some customers we found at the Walmart near 40th Street and Thomas Road were shopping to beat the holiday rush.

“I’m here for Thanksgiving stuff, for groceries,” said shopper Julie Ryan.

She will not be here on Thanksgiving.

“I will not brave the crowds, I will be home,” Ryan explained.

Upon hearing that, the cashier who was checking her out called her a “smart shopper.”

One person who will be here is store manager Ralph Ikpelue. His store is open 24 hours, meaning it will be open all day on Thanksgiving, with Black Friday deals starting at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

“I know one hot item is going to be the 50 inch Emerson TV for $218,” Ikpelue said.

Wal-mart says it will have 1 million workers on the job nationwide on Thanksgiving. Ikpelue said his employees like working on Thanksgiving and will be treated well.

“This year we’re giving them an extra 25 percent off, and every year, we’ve fed the associates,” he said. “They come in, get Thanksgiving dinner, it’s hot. It’s not Subway. It’s turkey, mashed potatoes, greens, the whole nine yards.”

But there are signs that some Wal-mart workers may not share in his sentiment. The website Think Progress.org says employees plan to protest at 1,600 Wal-mart stores on Black Friday. It also says that workers at 2,100 stores have signed an online petition demanding a $15-an-hour wage, more full-time work and an end to retaliation against employees who are trying to form a union.

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Wal-mart employees plan Black Friday protests