While many of us have plans to check out the deals on Black Friday this week, members of one local union plan to visit one retailer in particular.
Not for a good deal, but for what they say are respect and dignity on the job.
Union members are heading to Walmart on Black Friday. Not with a shopping list in hand but with a message to Walmart.
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union president Mark Reichelt said "our message is going to be that we're going to ask Walmart to be a better corporate citizen and better employer to its associates. Provide them with livable wages, full time positions, affordable health care. Dignity and respect on the job, that's most important."
Walmart employees nationwide have come together in a group they call an Organization United for Respect, OUR Walmart.
"It's just a group of associates that started out with about a hundred people and its grown to thousands now and they've actually taken up the effort to speak out for themselves. labor organizations are just there to show their support and help them along the way," Reichelt said.
Some people say the unhappy Walmart workers should just look for another job.
"That's just a big cop out. With South Dakota being a right to work state, we need to advocate for higher wages in this state. and they could go find a different job, it's possibly going to pay... it would be another low wage job," Reichelt said.
Reichelt said higher wages for Walmart's employees benefits all of us.
"If you raise the wages, it's good for the community. that's more money for people to spend. It trickles down, people buying cars, homes and things like that," Reichelt said.
Reichelt doesn't expect to be greeted completely with open arms
"When we come here, Ii expect that we'll probably have some support from some of the customers and some of the associates. I don't think we'll be here very long before we're asked to leave."
Just as Walmart's workers get ready to face the Black Friday crowds, the union is planning to stand behind them.
Reichelt told us Walmart employees are not expected to walk off the job here as they have in other cities.
He hasn't received any calls from employees asking to organize a walkout.
The group, OUR Walmart took to social media to organize demonstrations and walkouts across the country.
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