LAPD arrests 54 demonstrators at Wal-Mart protest
They were arrested for failure to disperse after an unlawful assembly was declared
By Robert J. Lopez
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — Dozens of people were arrested Wednesday night during a protest to demand that Wal-Mart pay workers better wages.
The protesters said as many as 825,000 Wal-Mart employees earn less than $25,000 a year. They accused the store of retaliating against workers who take part in labor activism.
The demonstration took place near the new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Chinatown.
Officers arrested 54 people for alleged failure to disperse after an unlawful assembly was declared, said Los Angeles Police Det. Gus Villanueva.
The protest followed a demonstration Wednesday outside the Wal-Mart in Paramount.
After that protest, company spokesman Kory Lundberg said that Wal-Mart has seen such protests "over and over again," despite the chain's repeated assurances that its workers receive quarterly performance-based bonuses, have access to retirement and healthcare benefits and are given discounts on merchandise.
He said the company promotes 430 workers a day on average nationwide. Wal-Mart has 13,000 associates serving more than 170,000 customers weekly in Los Angeles County, Lundberg said.
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