Several people were arrested on Black Friday after they staged a protest demanding better working conditions outside a Virginia Walmart, authorities say.
About 45 minutes into their protest, nine demonstrators were arrested for blocking traffic outside the Walmart on Richmond Highway in Alexandria. Only one person arrested was an employee at that Walmart location, News4's Derrick Ward reported.
Over 1,000 protests were planned at Walmart locations around the country Friday.
Workers and their supporters are demanding full-time work with a minimum salary of $25,000 per year and the end of alleged retaliation against workers who speak out.
Groups that have protested Walmart, including the group "Making Change at Walmart," have said the average hourly wage for the retail giant's sales associates is $8.81 an hour, a number based on a study done by research group IBISWorld.
However, Walmart says its average hourly pay for full-time workers is $12.81 an hour.
In Southern California, a man dressed as Santa Claus was among the demonstrators arrested while 13 people in Dallas arrested after sitting down in one of the city's intersections, a spokesperson for "Making Change at Walmart" said.
This is not the first time a protest at a D.C.-area Walmart has ended in arrests. Several people were arrested after blocking traffic while protesting at a Walmart in Hyattsville, Md., back in September.
That demonstration was also a part of a series of protests nationwide. One of people arrested told News4 she was fired from a Walmart in Laurel because she was trying to organize.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, a Walmart spokesperson said, in part:
"...Of course, we have entry-level jobs and we always will. The real issue isn't where you start. It's where you can go once you've started. Retail is one of the few industries that has jobs at all levels and ongoing advancement opportunities. Walmart promotes on average more than 430 associates a day. By year's end, we will have promoted 160,000 associates, including 25,000 this holiday season alone..."