RENO, Nev. & PARAMOUNT, Calif. -- A handful of northern Nevada Walmart employees walked off the job today as part of a nationwide protest to publicize labor complaints against Walmart.
The demonstrations were organized by "Our Walmart" which is a national group of Walmart workers. They chose Black Friday because they knew how busy the store would be and wanted to make a point about how much they are needed.
Protesters say they are not worried about losing their jobs because the demonstration defends workers' rights under the National Labor Relations Act which makes it illegal for an employer to retaliate against employees who try to improve working conditions.
In northern Nevada, workers protested in front of the Walmart stores on E. Second St. and Kietzke Ln.
While the demonstrations in the Reno area were small and peaceful, a number of protesters in southern California were arrested. Authorities in Los Angeles County made the arrests.
Elizabeth Brennan of Warehouse Workers United says nine people, including three Walmart employees, were arrested shortly after noon Friday for blocking the street outside the store in Paramount.
Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker tells KNBC-TV the arrests were pre-planned and peaceful.
Parker says that at one point more than 1,000 people blocked traffic outside the store and deputies issued an order to disperse. Most immediately obeyed but the small group remained to be arrested.
Shoppers continued to come and go during the demonstration.