Pro-Walmart Group Blames Unions For Ruining Thanksgiving As Companies Made Millions Work

CREDIT: Associated Press

A Black Friday protest outside of a St. Paul, Minnesota Walmart in 2013

Worker Center Watch, an organization that advocates on behalf of Walmart and other large corporations against unionization efforts, launched a campaign in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving attacking pro-labor groups for ruining Thanksgiving by protesting retailers on Black Friday.

In a series of videos and press releases, the campaign — called “Black Lieday” — accuses unions of working hand-in-hand with organizations like OUR Walmart to “harass” customers and “conduct mob-style shakedowns of non-union employers” in pursuit of such frivolous concessions as a livable wage and safer working conditions.

Most egregiously, Worker Center Watch criticized these same organizations for “ruining” Thanksgiving by protesting during stores’ Black Friday shopping frenzies. Nowhere to be found was criticism of these same retail stores for making millions of employees to forego holiday dinners with family and friends to instead work on Thanksgiving.

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While Worker Center Watch does not disclose where it gets its funding, The Nation’s Lee Fang revealed that a firm headed by Walmart’s former president of public affairs was responsible for registering the organization’s website.

WCW has also attempted to downplay the growing number of protests against companies like Walmart, arguing that groups like OUR Walmart inflate the number of protests and participants and that hardly any protesters are actual Walmart employees. But on Black Friday, an estimated 1,500 protests took place at stores across the country, and attendance was being measured in the tens of thousands. These minimum wage protests aren’t limited to Black Friday, either. Pro-worker groups organized nine protests at different Walmart stores in November.