11/23/2012 01:41 pm ET

Walmart Protests In Chicago: Union Groups Target Retail Chain On Black Friday

Hundreds of protesters joined nationwide demonstrations against Walmart on Black Friday, one of the retail chain's busiest shopping days, in Chicago.

According to Fox Chicago, about 200 protesters demonstrated against Walmart in the city's Chatham neighborhood Friday morning. The protesters were forced from the property after police were called to the scene. Two separate protests of Walmart were also planned to take place in the Loop and on Magnificent Mile, according to ABC Chicago.

Protesters are complaining about the chain's low wages, lack of benefits and what they describe as a pattern of retaliation against employees who attempt to organize. Similar protests took place nationwide on the heels of OUR Walmart, the labor group coordinating the strikes, filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Walmart previously filed its own complaint with the NLRB, alleging that the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which supports OUR Walmart, has illegally picketed.

Despite the protests, Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg told WBEZ that the chain is on track for its best-selling Black Friday yet. The chain said only 26 protests took place nationwide, many of which "did not include any Walmart associates."

Only one Walmart associate participated in the Chatham protest, according to Reuters. The associate told the news service that his work shifts have been cut to less than 40 hours per week and that he earns a wage of $8.95 per hour working in the store's produce department.

Walmart is no stranger to controversy in Chicago. Its expansion into the Windy City in recent years has drawn the ire of a number of community groups.



Black Friday 2012