Dozens hold protest outside of Walmart in Hadley - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Dozens hold protest outside of Walmart in Hadley

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HADLEY, MA (WSHM) -

Dozens of protestors gathered outside of the Walmart in Hadley on Friday afternoon. They joined thousands demonstrating across the country, all wanting to see the retail giant improve how they pay their employees.

"As the second largest retailer and employer in the United States, they really have the ability to set the standards for the rest of the companies in the United States as retailers," said Ryan Little, a Walmart employee. "They don't pay us well, there is little in the way of benefits and they retaliate against those that would speak out."

Walmart's CEO Bill Simon said the company is doing its part, offering competitive wage jobs to anyone age 16 to 76.

"We have lots of opportunity for people to grow into management and today over half of our folks make well above the amount that's being requested," Simon stated.

Simon added that the opportunities that Walmart provides allow employees to work their way up the ladder.

"I started as a dishwasher in a restaurant and I'm sure you had an entry-level job at some point," said Simon.  "They worked their way through the organization and we're proud of the opportunity people have to progress in our company."

But, to the dozens on hand in Hadley, they believe the retail giant has a long way to go.

"I'm mostly here for respect and acknowledgement of my hard work, which I don't ever get here," said Lisa Lacroix, a Walmart employee. "I love my co-workers and I enjoy working here. I would just like to be treated better by Walmart as a whole."

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