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As shoppers prepare to finish off the Thanksgiving holiday with a little Black Friday shopping, employees at Wal-Mart have launched a protest.

Workers across the country have been on strike for several months, but are gaining traction just ahead of the biggest shopping day of the year. Disgruntled employees are upset over their pay, lack of healthcare, and having to work on Thanksgiving, and the day after.

“These nationwide actions are all stemming from employee frustrations. The average associate makes $8.18 an hour. Wal-Mart makes $16 billion in annual profits and executives bring home $10 million each,”  said Casey Hoag, campaign communications specialist for the United Food and Commercial Workers union. Surely Wal-Mart can stop contributing to the growing problem of income disparity and start listening to the concerns of their workforce.”

Protests have erupted in roughly, 250 stores across the nation, making up for a small percentage of its workforce which includes 1.3 million.

Last week, Wal-Mart filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming that UFCW and OURWalmart—a union backing the uprising—unlawfully organized on picket lines. The complaint is still being reviewed at the Wal-Mart headquarters in Arkansas, but given the holiday, courts won’t be open to grant an injunction to block pending Black Friday walkouts.

They may be getting the most attention, but Wal-Mart isn’t the only company keeping its doors open from Thanksgiving until the end of Black Friday. Sears, Toys-R-Us, Kmart, and Target are all hoping to grab hold of early shoppers.

See photos of Wal-Mart protests below.


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Photos: Reuters/CBS News/CNN/Herndon Patch

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