Updated: 11/23/2012 9:40 PM KSTP.com By: Naomi Pescovitz
Some Black Friday shoppers stopping at Walmart stores nationwide were greeted by protesters angry about wages and cuts to hours.
"Roll back, fight back," chanted a group of protesters outside the Midway Walmart on University Avenue in St. Paul.
The crowd of more than one hundred was made up of many retail cleaning workers with The Center of Workers United in Struggle (CTUL) and members of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). About five protesters work at Walmart stores in the Twin Cities metro.
"I love my job, I love going into work, I loved it when I worked overnights when I originally started at Walmart. I love doing it, it's just enough is enough," said Michael Ahles, who works as a deli associate at the Sauk Centre Walmart.
Ahles makes $9.20 an hour and says there have been cuts.
"This company does so great in performances with sales and profits but yet they are still cutting back wages and associates and hours, and it's got to stop," Ahles said.
According to UFCW, there were 1,000 protests in 46 states.
Walmart's Vice President of Corporate Communications, David Tovar, issued the following response:
"The number of protests being reported by the UFCW are grossly exaggerated. We are aware of a few dozen protests at our stores today. The number of associates that have missed their scheduled shift today is more than 60 percent less than Black Friday last year.
"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."