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Walmart Workers Participate In Nationwide ‘Black Friday’ Walk-Out; Several Arrested In SoCal

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(credit: Art Barron/CBS)

(credit: Art Barron/CBS)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13/CBSLA.com) – Walmart workers Friday staged a nationwide walk-out on one of the biggest shopping days of the year including stores in the Sacramento-area.

About a dozen protesters were outside the West Sacramento Walmart around 9:00 a.m. Friday.

Authorities arrested a small group of protesters at a demonstration outside a Walmart in Los Angeles. Elizabeth Brennan of Warehouse Workers United says nine people, including three Walmart employees, were arrested shortly after noon Friday for blocking the street outside the store in Paramount.

Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker tells KNBC-TV the arrests were pre-planned and peaceful.

Parker says that at one point more than 1,000 people blocked traffic outside the store and deputies issued an order to disperse. Most immediately obeyed but the small group remained to be arrested.

Shoppers continued to come and go during the demonstration.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) planned Friday’s walkouts saying they are protesting unfair labor practices and want better pay.

Walmart does not officially recognize the UFCW as its workers are not unionized. Walk-outs began at some locations nationwide as early as Thursday night.

“Walmart’s pay and benefits plans are as good as or better than our retail competitors, including those that are unionized,” said Steven V. Restivo, Senior Director of Community Affairs.

Of the company’s 2.2 million workers, Restivo says Walmart has 250,000 employees who have worked for the company for more than ten years. In 2011, the company promoted 165,000 hourly employees, Restivo adds.

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