Protests planned at Walmart stores across country

Rallies over holiday hours

SAN DIEGO - Many shoppers heading out for Black Friday will have some company in the form of protesters.

Following the Thanksgiving night madness, 10News has learned rallies are planned for nearly all Walmart stores in the county on Black Friday.

Diego, a longtime associate at a San Diego-area Walmart, will be away from his family as he is working his fourth Thanksgiving in a row.

"Why are you hiding your identity," asked reporter Michael Chen.

"I am afraid of losing my job," answered Diego.

He added, "I think for too long, the company has been doing what's profitable over what's right."

Across the country, workers at 1,000 Walmart stores -- frustrated about the 8 p.m. openings on Thanksgiving -- will strike.

However, that is not the case in San Diego.

Union leaders said they don't know of any local employees who plan to participate in the protests for fear of being targeted for discipline.

Still, some shoppers say Walmart workers should be thankful.

"I sympathize with them, but in one sense, they're lucky to have a job," said shopper Kimberly Balastrieri.

"It's not about that. It's about showing respect for the individual," said Diego.

Diego said he'd like to pose this question to the founders of Walmart: "The Walton family spends their Thanksgiving together. Why can't we?"

In a statement, Walmart officials told 10News the rallies are union "publicity stunts" and "the super majority of our 1.3 million associates are excited … and ready to serve our customers."

"I don't believe that, not from what I'm hearing in the break room," said Diego.

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