Friday, November 23, 2012

WalMart Protest in Joliet, Illinois

By Mary Baskerville
Carriage Stone Communications

JOLIET—The gathering at Sacred Heart Church on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving was equal parts fellowship and solidarity.  Practicing chants, the group gathered, held hands and joined in a prayer asking for a blessing on workers and to show support for Wal-Mart workers struggling with what the organizers say is less than a living wage, before going to Jefferson Street to march in front of the store’s entrance drive.

Sue Myers of Frankfort marched in the bitterly cold wind because she wanted to show support for the workers, who deserve to paid a living wage, she said.

“I feel Wal-Mart is unfair,” Pam Leddy, of Joliet, said as she stood to the entrance of Wal-Mart off Jefferson Street: “It’s a very high price to a community for their prices.”

Will County Board District 5 member Reed Bible  said he was standing in “support of the Wal-Mart workers” for better wages and benefits. Will County Board District 4 member Jackie Traynere said the “workers need people to stand up, the corporate dream has become a nightmare."

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart issued a statement Friday saying the company broke Black Friday records. In part, the news release read:
"BENTONVILLE, Ark., Nov. 23, 2012 – Today, Wal-Mart U.S. reported its best ever Black Friday events. The retailer saw larger crowds than last year and a huge response to its first ever one-hour guarantee on key electronic items.
“I’m so proud of what our more than 1.3 million associates have done to prepare and execute our Black Friday plans, giving our customers a great start to their Christmas shopping season,” said Bill Simon, Wal-Mart U.S. president and chief executive officer. “The work of our associates is even more impressive when you consider they served approximately 22 million customers on Thursday."

Here is a video of today's action in front of the Joliet WalMart: