Walmart on Black Friday 2009

(Photo credit: laurieofindy)

Remember the from the United Food & Commercial Workers union? “We’re going to shut them down. We’re going to paralyze them. We will be heard!” or words to that effect. All hat and no cattle:

The protests failed to reduce traffic at the world’s largest retailer. Wal-Mart said today that it had larger crowds than last year and drew about 22 million customers yesterday. The retailer said in a statement that it has sold more than 1.3 million televisions, 1.3 million dolls and 250,000 bicycles since its promotions began at 8 p.m. yesterday.

Not a bad day at the office, eh? And how about those protests? How did they turn out?

Wal-Mart said only 26 protests took place at stores last night and fewer than 50 associates participated.

Where were those protesters? Where were those disgruntled and unhappy workers and other supporters that the union was going to recruit to man the barricades? They were shopping. At Walmart:

Jamie Walsh faced a dilemma: take advantage of Wal-Mart’s deals at the Salem, New Hampshire, store or support union-backed protesters demanding better pay and benefits. In the end, the deals won the day.

Walsh, 42, wearing a sweatshirt from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2222, where her late brother-in- was vice president, said she was aware of the union protests planned at Walmart locations around the country today. Still, she decided to buy an $89 electric ride-in Jeep, a LeapPad tablet, a dollhouse, a Sony PlayStation and a $78 flat screen television.

“It bothers me, but their prices are so good,” said Walsh…
There was an incident at one of Walmart 4,500 stores. It occurred in Paramount, California:
About 1,000 protesters massed outside a Wal-Mart store in Paramount, California, after 7 a.m. and nine were arrested for failing to follow police orders to disperse about five hours later…
The scene returned to normal about 20 minutes later…
At least one shopper was disgusted with the whole business:

Marcus Blake, 37, a Boston resident shopping with his 15-year-old son at the Wal-Mart in Salem wasn’t as sympathetic.

“They need to get with the program or get a new job,”said Blake, who works in property management. “People work on the holidays. I’m on call 24 hours.”

One union “organizer” admitted that the whole thing was a flop:

In Dallas, protesters had been to two stores by 8 p.m., Janna Pea, another union organizer, said in a telephone interview. Pea said the group protested at the first store for 10 minutes before security kicked them off the property.

“We weren’t able to do much,” she said. The group began protesting in front of the second store as shoppers began in. Security forced them leave there, too. The group ended up standing on the side of the road near the entrance to the store’s parking lot, she said.

“Fizzle” is synonymous with invisible.

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