Yesterday, hundreds of people participated in a protest outside of Walmart in Los Angeles to demand higher wages for full-time employees. Over 50 protestors were placed under arrest outside of the store in the largest civil disobedience event in Walmart history.
Several protesters were taken into custody without incident after refusing to cooperate with the police. A $500 bail is set for each person placed into custody.
The group is demanding that every full-time Walmart employee is to receive at least a $25,000 yearly salary.
Anthony Goytia, a 31-year-old father with two children, said he expects to make only $12,000 this year.
“The power went out at my house yesterday because I couldn’t afford the bill,” Goytia explained. “I had to run around and get two payday loans to pay for my rent from the first of the month. Yesterday we went to a food bank.”
Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg attempted to soften the protest’s demand of a $25,000 a year stating that hundreds of thousands of employees are currently earning more than that amount already and the opportunities are provided for everyone. Lundberg compared the amount of participating protesters to the amount of Walmart employees saying the amount is insignificant when put into perspective.
“We’ve seen time and again there are virtually no [Walmart] associates participating in these orchestrated events because they know the truth about working for Walmart,” Lundberg said. “We provide our associates with more opportunities for career growth and greater economic security for their family than many other companies in America,” he claimed.
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as President Obama have recently proposed an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. President Obama came out in support of the measure on Thursday.
Watch direct footage of the protest here: