Wal-Mart claimed today that the much-hyped Black Friday protests at the non-union retail giant fizzled out, with only 50 associates – their term for employees – taking part. The United Food and Commercial Workers union, which organized the protests, disputed that figure though. It said “hundreds and hundreds” joined in at events across the country. The Washington Examiner could not find an independent estimate for the protests.
Even assuming the UFCW figure is correct, that is pretty small given that Wal-Mart is the nation’s largest employer, with 1.4 million people working at its stores. Wal-Mart also claimed at least 10 million transactions since its stores opened late Thursday, which would make 2012 its best Black Friday ever.
The UFCW, whose members mainly work for Wal-Mart’s competitors, has long battled the retail giant. It backed it a now-defunct non-profit group called Wake-Up Walmart, which attacked the retailer. More recently, it has backed groups called OUR Walmart and Making Change at Walmart.