The Associated Press
Fifteen protesters were arrested outside a Wal-Mart store in Factoria as they called on Black Friday shoppers to consider how the retailer compensates its workers.
Authorities said about 100 protesters who gathered outside the store Friday were asked to disperse, and those who remained blocking the street were arrested. Casey Hoag, a spokesman with the protesters, said the goal of the mobilization was to get Wal-Mart’s attention while also drawing the attention of shoppers.
“We’re trying to make them understand that Wal-Mart needs to pay a living wage and respect their workers,” Hoag said.
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Jennifer Spall said the company offers a competitive compensation package, including wages, benefits, retirement and educational opportunities.
“We are extremely competitive with our retail peers,” Spall said.
Spall said the protest had no impact on business Friday and that the Factoria store saw a steady stream of customers. At one point Friday morning there weren’t any remaining carts for incoming shoppers, something Spall said she’d never seen before.
The local protests were part of a nationwide effort targeting Wal-Mart.