ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Protestors around the country picked Black Friday for a reason, hoping to disrupt the busiest shopping day of the year. In Albuquerque, the Walmart near Carlisle and Menaul appeared to be the focus.
Most of the protestors were from outside of the Walmart work-force. Some were members of unions, others were concerned citizens, but there were a few local Walmart employees who stood with them.
Dozens gathered outside the Walmart in northeast Albuquerque Friday, holding signs in support of Walmart workers, and attracting the attention of drivers passing by.
"It's a good turnout, and there's not very many cars in the parking lot either, I think people are getting the word here," said Bob Anderson, Walmart protestor.
Most of those who showed up to protest are not employees, except one couple, who made the trek from Clovis with family, and walked out on Walmart Thursday night. Walmart employees, Megan Jenkins, and Johnny Wilson, said they were both scheduled to work Black Friday.
Like the other protesters, Jenkins and Wilson said they're there to speak out against the company, irregular scheduling, low wages and Walmart's decision to start Black Friday deals at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.
"They are a big business, they should be paying their employees like big businesses pay," said John Bishop, Walmart protestor.
"Everybody else always follows Walmart, Walmart can be the leader and let people have their Thanksgiving, let them have the time with their family, the sales can wait until Friday," said Wilson.
"It used to be midnight and that was good enough, and its all about corporate greed and trying to get more money and you know the public falls into it," said Kelley Allen, Walmart protestor. "I feel that they should start Black Friday at midnight, which is actual Friday."
Wilson said he's not afraid of losing his job for walking out, but others protesting said Walmart employees are too intimidated to walk out. "I'm out here fighting it, and I'm out here speaking up for everybody," said Wilson. "I want everybody to know they can speak up."
Jenkins and Wilson said they will return to work at the Walmart in Clovis this weekend, and wait for the best. In a statement to KRQE, Walmart said Friday, the number of Walmart employees who missed their scheduled shift on Black Friday was actually 60 percent less than last year. Walmart employs about 1.3 million people.
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