Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2012, 11:12 pm

Local labor groups plan to protest WalMart

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By Stephen Elliott selliott@qconline.com

Area labor groups and Quad-City faith-based organizations are conducting a protest on Friday morning at the Davenport WalMart on West Kimberly Road.

They're calling the event a Workers' Prayer Vigil/Jubilee. It runs from 9 to 10 a.m.

Members of The Sisters of Humility, in conjunction with the Quad City Federation of Labor, the Diocese of Davenport, Quad City Interfaith and Progressive Action for the Common Good are scheduled to be present.

"The purpose of this event is multi-faceted," according to a Quad City Federation of Labor news release.

"The hourly employees of WalMart, also referred to as associates, have begun organizing nationally through the organization OUR WalMart (Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart).

"The era of ignoring WalMart's draconian management tactics and strategic exploitation of state and federally-funded programs (such as food stamps and Medicaid) to support their underpaid work force are over. It is time to raise widespread attention about the high cost of unnaturally low prices of WalMart's consumer goods.

"We plan to stand in solidarity with the workers of WalMart, alongside the faith-based community leaders, in prayer for the workers and in hopes of a more worker-friendly environment. As the nation's, and indeed, the world's largest private employer, Wal-Mart must lead by a better example."

The event is one of a number planned around the nation on Friday.