with thanks to Mick Fitz
America’s largest retail chain Walmart is facing a very black Friday with strikes being reported in seven states so far today. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) plans strike action today in 1,000 locations across the U.S.
The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally known as Black Friday, is the biggest shopping day in the American retail calendar. Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping period; a time when retail workers are faced with long hours and large volumes of customers for no extra pay.
The Walmart Company earned profits of $16bn last year and reported a 9% increase in earnings for the third quarter of 2012. That’s $3.6bn in profits to be shared among a small group of shareholders while the workers are paid an average wage of $8.80 per hour. The Walmart family represent the largest shareholding block and earn more than the combined earnings of the bottom 40% of American workers.