I spent the afternoon covering the Our Walmart protest today organized into two parts. The first found the protesters and Walmart employees, from different states, organizing a protest for a higher living wage and consistent hours at the Walmart at 3712 E. Thomas Road in Phoenix, Ariz.
Some went inside to give “thank you” notes and tell Walmart employees that the were appreciated. I was surprised by how friendly employees were, even in the midst of their work. Two women were surrounded by three carts full of bras but took time to speak to a protestor. At the same time others stood outside gathering petition signatures that would eventually be delivered to the home of Walmart’s chairman of the board of directors: Robert Walton. It included a parade and demonstration outside Walton’s Paradise Valley home. A variety of faith based leaders, politicians and organizers spoke before protestors eventually delivered their signatures to the front gate.
What did surprise me was the image I made of one former Walmart employee and veteran peeking into the gate and underneath it to “see” Walton’s home. The desire to “see” Walton’s home isn’t surprising but it says something to the fact of the difference between company owner and employees.