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New Mexico Walmart Workers, Activists Plan Joint Protests on Black Friday


(Update) Wed 11/21/12, 11am: NLRB board unlikely to issue ruling on Walmart complaint against protesters by the start of Black friday...stay tuned to KUNM for more details

A number of Walmart employees at store locations in Clovis and Albuquerque New Mexico will demonstrate this Friday morning as part of a nationwide protest against the retail giant's labor practices.

The protests are being coordinated by members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, or UFCW which represents grocery workers around the country. None of Walmart's 1.4 million employees nationwide are members of UFCW or any other union.

Last week Walmart filed an unfair labor practice charge against the UFCW with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the union has disrupted business at Walmart stores across the nation.

Two advocacy groups affiliated with UFCW - "OUR Walmart" and "Making Change at Walmart" - have been holding rallies over the past month to protest what they call Walmart's unfair labor practices.

The groups say these practices include low wages, lack of benefits and irregular hours.

According to Jesus Lopez of the UFCW, between "five and twelve" Clovis, New Mexico Walmart associates will participate in the job action. "I feel like the ideal outcome after this Black Friday event is to show other associates to come out of the shadows and not be afraid. This is very big step."

Another protest is expected at the Carlisle Boulevard Walmart in Albuquerque. Local activist groups are expected to participate.

The day after Thanksgiving is commonly referred to as Black Friday as it is often the busiest retail store shopping day of the year.