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Black Friday Protest Planned for Tempe Walmart

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The union-backed protests planned for Walmart stores nationwide on "Black Friday" includes a protest at one of the Walmart locations in Tempe.

Phoenix-based United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99 says workers will be protesting at the store at Elliot Road and Priest Drive at 7 a.m. on "Black Friday."

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In their words, they'll be "demanding an end to poverty wages at the world's largest retailer with profits in the billions."

UFCW Local 99 sent us a statement from its president, Jim McLaughlin, saying:

"Valley shoppers have many opportunities for "Black Friday" bargains, and we're asking them to do their shopping anywhere but Walmart as a way of showing their support for Walmart workers.

The national UFCW-backed effort also alleges Walmart retaliates against some people who've spoken out about the wages issue.

Interestingly, lefty Tempe City Councilman Kolby Granville, who's not a fan of the company, revealed on social media that he was asked to participate in the protest, and penned a full explanation of why he won't be there "as much as my heart wishes I could."

"Walmart is a company," he writes. "As a company they do not have a duty to be a social change agent. They do not have a duty to make the world a better place. They have but two duties, to make as much money as possible for their shareholders, and to do it within the bounds of the law. That is (unfortunately) exactly what they are doing. It is not Walmart that is wrong, it is the laws that allow Walmart to act the way they do that are wrong."

He goes as far to admit that he wouldn't have protested in front of a segregated restaurant back when "separate but equal" was the legal standard, since it wasn't violating laws at the time, either.

For the rest of you, not taking sides in The People v. Walmart, enjoy the $3 savings on that toaster.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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