MARYLAND

Wal-Mart protests at Laurel location aim for wage increases

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Wal-Mart protests have been happening all over the country as employees protest what they call mistreatment from the company. But some demonstrators aren’t even employed by the retail giant.

Shoppers hitting up Black Friday deals at the Landover Hills Wal-Mart got a different sort of Wal-Mart greeting this morning.

Dozens of protestors angry at the retailer’s wages and strict anti-union rules gathered outside the store. A few Wal-Mart employees even walked off the job for the day.

“Making money and still not paying us the salary that we need to be able to take our children on vacation and do things for our families,” says Barbara Elliott.

There were plenty of protests across the country as well. Many customers were caught in the middle.

“You should have equal pay,” says Detra Tymu of Laurel. “They do the same job they should get paid for it, but at the same time I’m a single mom looking for a deal.”

Wal-Mart officials say the protests did not prevent the chain from having its best Black Friday yet, but many aren’t happy how the company made those sales records.

“These are low prices built on the backs of Wal-Mart employees who can’t afford their basic necessities,” says Allendra Letsome.

Wal-Mart responded in a statement.

“The number of protests being reported by the UFCW are grossly exaggerated. It was proven last night - and again today - that the OUR Walmart group doesn't speak for the 1.3 million Walmart associates. We had our best Black Friday ever and OUR Walmart was unable to recruit more than a small number of associates to participate in these made for TV events. Press reports are now exposing what we have said all along - the large majority of protesters aren't even Walmart workers,” Vice President of Wal-Mart Corporate Communications David Tovar, in a statement.

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