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Low wage protests target Wal-Mart sales day

Published on Nov 24, 2012 6:37 AM
Wal-Mart employees and their supporters protest in a parking lot after they were asked to move from the side of the front entrance to a Wal-Mart store in Paramount, California on Nov 23, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

SECAUCUS, New Jersey (AFP) - Protesters targeted Wal-Mart stores across the United States (US) on Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, accusing the bargain superstore of ripping off its own employees.

The protests were designed to disrupt the Black Friday shopping frenzy after Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday, when deep discounts pull in waves of customers.

About 200 activists outside a huge Wal-Mart in Secaucus, New Jersey chanted against what they called the dark side of the biggest US private employer, which has 1.3 million non-unionised workers, or "associates," as they're called. Critics say the average Wal-Mart hourly wage is a meager US$8.81 (S$10.80), although the company says the figure is closer to US$13.

"Wal-Mart pushes wages down!" they chanted.

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