Demonstrators protest outside local Walmart on Black Friday - CBS46 News

Demonstrators protest outside local Walmart on Black Friday

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Several dozen protestors hit the pavement outside a Walmart on Howell Mill Road on Friday.

They braved the chilly morning air on Black Friday to demand higher wages, cheaper benefits and better treatment.

"We're not going to tolerate it when Walmart management retaliates, intimidates and fires workers that are trying to organize for respect on the job and basic dignity in the workplace," said Roger Sikes, who is with Atlanta Jobs With Justice, a labor coalition fighting for workers' rights.

"Walmart, Walmart, you're no good. Treat your workers like you should," chanted demonstrators as shoppers drove by. 

Protestors tried to march to the front entrance of the store but were quickly met by police and store security.

"I'm asking you to move outside the public property, OK?" said an officer. "If this continues I'm going to have to ask the police to have you removed." 

Police here in Atlanta kept a watchful eye on the demonstrators throughout the morning. The crowd here was much smaller than other protests across the country.

"I mean, speak up for your rights," said shopper Johnathan Luckett. "If you feel you need more money and whatever to survive in this world today, you need to do what you gotta do." 

While some Walmart shoppers were sympathetic to protestors, others said they had mixed feelings about this demonstration and the workers' demands.

"Of course, you want to better yourself and your career and that's one way to go about it," said shopper Dan Clark. "But maybe it's not the best way to go about it, especially with a lot of people looking for work this time of year and for many years the way the economy's been."

Labor organizers said Walmart workers' demands for better treatment are not new, but they have not spoken out over the years for fear of retaliation.  

"They've fired workers for organizing time and time and time again, so workers, they're scared as hell," said Sikes. "They're scared to organize." 

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