Black Friday is more than just a great day for shopping- for retailers, it is perhaps the most profitable day of the year. Knowing this, employees at the retail giant Wal-Mart chose this day to stage what they planned to be a nationwide protest against the company’s business practices. Among their complaints were issues such as wage and hour complaints, concerns about retaliation and general calls for the support of worker’s rights. However, despite heavy media attention leading up to the proposed strike, few workers turned up.
In fact, America’s largest employer recently stated that fewer than 50 workers walked off the job nationwide, noting that few of the Wal-Mart protesters were actually Wal-Mart employees. Overall, the numbers of protesters were fewer than strike organizers were expecting.
Why did the strikes fail to meet their organizer’s predictions? We can only guess. However, the reluctance of workers to walk out off the job suggests that employees are not universally displeased with their employment. Those workers who actually are upset with Wal-Mart’s employment practices may instead desire to make their voice heard through less drastic measures, such as a formal complaint to company or government officials.
Employment disputes are a serious legal issue, and any reports of illegal violations need to be dealt with swiftly and effectively. Doubtless, worker’s claims that they were terminated through retaliation will be examined by legal professionals. In this situation, negotiation and mediation can be useful for both employers and workers, allowing both parties to resolve the dispute quickly and amicably.
Source: Classicalite.com, “Walmart Protesters Wage Campaign On Black Friday,” O’Jay Burgess, Nov. 23, 2012