LANDOVER HILLS, Md. (CBSDC) - Hundreds of Walmart employees protested at Capital Plaza in Landover Friday and thousands at locations nationwide, but shouting storefront voices did nothing to slow maddening sales.
The Landover employees used large crowds lined up in front of the store for Black Friday sales to draw attention to their cause. They’re seeking better wages and better working conditions, just as many Walmart employees are doing across the country.
For a short time, the protesters took to the streets marching along Route-450, then circled back to the Walmart parking lot.
Locally, the protests remained peaceful while the manager waited outside to receive their petition. They dispersed quietly after a few hours of making their voices heard to meet with management in hopes their demands would be met.
Walmart employees staged protests across the country starting earlier in the week – in major cities like Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago – according to the Huffington Post, all organized by the labor group, OUR Walmart.
But the collection of demanding workers haven’t been met with open arms in every city, as they were here in Maryland.
Huffington Post reported “OUR Walmart” – the national labor organization representing Walmart employees – filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday claiming managers were retaliating against striking workers. Reports around the country included employees being threatened with smaller bonuses if protests interfered with Black Friday shopping. One worker in Orlando claimed she was charged with trespassing when she went on strike.
But the public display of frustration by their employees did nothing to slow sales or curb turnout.
Walmart reported seeing record sales in stores nationwide Thursday and Friday – despite the presentation of disgruntled employees – with over 22 million customers served on Thursday alone, beginning with sales at 8 p.m. When the deals wrapped up, the company called the holiday their “best ever Black Friday”.
Walmart cites its limited one-hour guarantee on key electronic items as one reason for soaring profits, saying it had already sold over 1.3 million televisions by store open Friday morning.
It’s not just holiday shopping though. Customers also did a little purchasing for themselves; taking advantage of deals on home goods. The company reported selling 1.8 million towels.
From 8 p.m. through midnight Thursday, Walmart processed nearly 10 million register transactions at almost 5,000 items per second.