Reporting Maria Medina
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Nine protesters were arrested in Sacramento demanding higher wages and better benefits from Wal-Mart.
The Sacramento protest was one of many from Miami to Seattle on Thursday.
As police arrested the protesters outside Cesar Chavez Plaza for civil disobedience, others yelled out “Hero.”
They say their message is simple: They want Wal-Mart to treat its employees better.
“We’re tired of the retaliation from Wal-Mart for associates who speak out,” said Placerville employee Margaret Karch Hooten.
The crowd of 75 to 100 gathered outside a building where they say a Wal-Mart board member has an office—chanting, yelling and leaving a petition at the door for the board member.
“I bring home $900 if I’m lucky, and I got to work, and I work very hard.”
The group is demanding Walmart pay its employees a minimum of $25,000 a year, stop allegedly retaliating against workers who speak out and rehire workers it allegedly fired for striking, like Yvette Brown.
“It shouldn’t have to come to this,” Brown said.
But a Wal-Mart spokesperson says the protesters are not Wal-Mart workers, instead union members and activists, some of them even hired for what they call a “show.”
But Margaret says she isn’t a hired actress, she’s a current Wal-Mart employee in Placerville.
“There’s no jobs out there. Trust me, I look constantly.”
While the majority of shoppers we asked say they support the protests, this couple of business owners say we aren’t seeing the entire picture.
“I know what it is to have to pay your employees and taxes and so on,” said local business owner Tom Martin.
Protesters say they’ll continue to fight until they see changes.
The march continued to the Capitol.
The Wal-Mart spokesperson also said very few of its employees took part in the nationwide protests, because they know the average full-time hourly worker makes more than $25,000 a year.