Ruckus Updates

Protestors: Keep Away from Wal-Mart!

Protestors: Keep Away from Wal-Mart!

Protestors outside the Wal-Mart on Charlotte Pike on Friday donned haz-mat outfits and held up signs with "DANGER" written on them to tell customers to stay away.

Wal-Mart is Tennessee’s largest private employer with an estimated 32,000 on the payroll. The protestors said workers don’t get paid enough and health insurance is not affordable at this and other Wal-Mart stores.

Protestors stood inside an area surrounded by yellow caution tape.

"We have discovered that its workers make 30 percent less than any other retail workers. Also, if you’re an employee there, it takes six months to get healthcare coverage,” Regenmorter said.

The protestors said this fake haz-mat scene was a way to draw attention to unfair labor practices. Groups organized similar demonstrations at about 30 other Wal-Mart stores across the country.

"It’s the largest, richest corporation in the world, and they should also behave the best,” Regenmorter said.

Onlookers did not seem swayed.

“I guess everybody’s got a right to their own opinion. If they want to protest Wal-Mart, it’s fine with me,” Wal-Mart customer Larry Blankenship said.

"I’m a Wal-Mart die hard fan. I’ve been shopping at Wal-Mart since I was little, so it’s kinda hard to say,” Eggerson said.

A number of groups helped to organize the Nashville Wal-Mart protest Friday, including Jobs With Justice, The Ruckus Society and the Nashville Peace & Justice Center.

Friday’s protests coincided with Wal-Mart’s annual board of directors meeting in Bentonville, Ark.