Dec 02 2013

Daily News Flash with Rahul Mahajan on Black Friday Sales, Walmart Protests, and Fast Food Worker Strikes

Uprising’s guest expert (sitting in for Rose Aguilar) Rahul Mahajan, sociologist and news analyst and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Ninety two million Americans shopped on Black Friday this year, spending $57.4 billion according to the National Retail Federation. The numbers may sound staggering but are actually down 2.9% from last year, reflecting a still-fragile economy, as well as changing consumer trends. Meanwhile, an 11 year old girl was trampled by hordes of Black Friday shoppers at a Walmart in Ohio and a South Carolina teenager returning from a Black Friday shopping spree died in a car accident – four others were injured. Today, Cyber Monday, is expected to draw online shoppers in even greater numbers than traditional “brick-and-mortar” weekend shoppers. Click here for a US News article about Black Friday sales.

Some people picketed instead of shopping on Black Friday. Walmart workers and their advocates promised the largest protests yet on the biggest shopping day of the year to press for workers rights. The group OUR Walmart claims 1000 protests took place in 46 states and that strikes took place in 100 cities, with dozens of people arrested. Walmart has responded by saying that the extent of the nationwide protests was “grossly exaggerated.” Meanwhile, fast food workers who have also been ramping up their labor actions have announced a one-day strike this Thursday in 100 cities around the country calling for $15 an hour in wages and the right to form a union. Click here for a Chicago Tribune article about the Walmart protests. Click here for a Think Progress report about the Fast Food workers announced strikes.

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