Protests expected at chain stores on Black Friday

Protesters set to rally at local Walmart on Friday

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - Cars, shopping carts and anxious customers won't be the only things in the parking lot of a North Charleston Walmart this Black Friday.

More than a dozen protesters are expected to rally in front of the Center Point Drive location.

"There'll be a demonstration to try to persuade Walmart and the people who shop at Walmart to push it towards becoming a more responsible member of our American economic community," William Hamilton says. Hamilton -- the legal coordinator of the local effort – says the chain does not give employees fair pay or benefits.

"We expect to be talking to some Walmart employees [at the protest.] They might be very careful about being seen with us," he says.

Walmart Stores, Inc. has filed a complaint with the National Labor Review Board to stop the protests -- which are anticipated at stores across the country -- citing safety as a concern.

"We filed that because we wanted to put them on notice that if the unions are going to do anything that is going to disrupt our business or cause safety concerns for our associates or our customers they will be held accountable," David Tovar, Walmart Vice President of Communications, says.

This Black Friday is also drawing ire for the early openings of several chains. Target, Walmart and Toys "R" Us will all open Thanksgiving evening.

"I think they need to calm it down a little bit. Their employees need to spend time with their families," Shopper Rhonda Miller says.

Another shopper says if he worked retail, he would work Black Friday for the holiday pay.

"If it were me, I get the extra hours if I could. Extra hours is more money," Joe Brown says.

Beth Walterhouse will be working her 12th Black Friday at the Tanger Outlets in North Charleston. However, this year, she is also on the schedule for Thanksgiving Day.

"I'm just lucky to have a job, to be honest," she says. "I feel there's a lot of people who are unemployed right now and when you've got a great team to work with, it makes it a little easier to come in and work together, even if it is on Thanksgiving."

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