WASHINGTON — The Organization United for Respect at Walmart said Thursday about 80 Walmart U.S. employees in different parts of the country have walked off their jobs to protest what it characterizes as the chain's "illegal efforts to silence the growing calls for a change of course."

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores disputed the number of walk-outs, saying the actual total of employees who left their posts was much lower.


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OUR Walmart, an affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, said workers walked off their jobs in Northern California, Massachusetts and Miami on Tuesday and in Maryland, Minnesota and Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday, "with dozens more pledging to do the same [Thursday and Friday]," including employees in Southern California, Seattle and Chicago.

The organization said it is calling for the company to end retaliation against employees who criticize it and to publicly commit to providing full-time work with a minimum salary of $25,000 a year so workers don't have to rely on taxpayer-funded programs to support their families.

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A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart told SN the number of walk-offs was under 20 as of Wednesday "and probably under 50 at this point.”

"We don't believe OUR Walmart, which is made up mostly of non-associates, represents the views of our 1.3 million associates in the U.S." she said.

When someone walks off a shift, store management make sure that slot is filled to ensure shelves are fully stocked for customers, she added.

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