Nine people were arrested Friday in protests against retail giant Walmart. According to a Reuters report, the protesters, who told police they intended to be arrested, were taken into custody in Paramount, California as they participated in a national day of action by Walmart workers and their supporters.
Protesters massed outside Walmart stores in 46 states, some skipping their shifts on the busiest sales day of the year to express their dissatisfaction with Walmart policies and labor practices. The nine arrestees refused police orders to clear a street and were peacefully taken into custody.
Representatives of Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S., and the protesters disagree on the size and number of protests against the company on Friday. Representatives of OUR Walmart, an employee rights group connected to the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Union (UFCW) said that more than 1000 protests took place in more than 100 cities. The Walton Company, which owns Walmart, as well as Sam’s Club stores, called OUR Walmart’s numbers “greatly exaggerated.”
Shares of Wal-Mart stock rose 1.9 percent to $70.20 on Friday on news that the company was reporting its best Black Friday numbers ever. The company claims that it served more shoppers on Friday than any of its previous Black Friday events, with a reported 10 million register transactions between 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving and midnight on Friday.