Tulsa Protesters Picket For Walmart Store Employees - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa Protesters Picket For Walmart Store Employees

Posted: Updated:
Ariana Eakle of Stigler working on a sign. Ariana Eakle of Stigler working on a sign.
A protester holds a sign that says, "Walmart shoppers are part of the problem." A protester holds a sign that says, "Walmart shoppers are part of the problem."
About a dozen people held signs as they stood along Memorial near Admiral across the street from the entrance to the Walmart store About a dozen people held signs as they stood along Memorial near Admiral across the street from the entrance to the Walmart store
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Some supporters of Walmart employees protested on Black Friday outside an east Tulsa store.

About a dozen people stood along Memorial Drive near Admiral Boulevard at the store's entrance.

The group said they were taking part in a national campaign asking the retail giant to take better care of its employees.

One of the protesters, former Walmart associate Ariana Eakle says Walmart employees make less than a "living wage."

Walmart says it gives its employees plenty of opportunities to grow and establish a career.

But protestors say the company doesn't pay its employees enough and are asking Walmart to raise the bar.

Folks arrived early on Black Friday morning to make signs and protest.

"Going to be, 'Higher wages mean lower food stamps," Kevin Polovina said about his sign.

Ariana Eakle was a part-time employee at the Walmart in Stigler for a year and a half.

"I think it was a lot better back whenever Sam [Walton] was running it, but now that his children have taken it over, I think that they focus on making the maximum benefit for shareholders and for themselves rather than for the millions and millions of people that work for them," Eakle said.

She says she felt taken advantage of because she was often asked to work holidays even though she wasn't eligible for holiday pay as a part-time employee.

Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States and Eakle says the company sets the market for how other retailers pay their employees.

"If we can get Walmart to pay people enough to live on, then maybe we can get other stores to follow them, because right now Walmart sets the benchmark on wages because of their size," she said.

Walmart says the average salary for a full-time employee is $27,700 and the average hourly wage for a part-time employee is $12.83.

A company spokeswoman says they're proud of the opportunities Walmart provides its employees.

"It's not as much as where you start, it's where you end up," spokesperson Betsey Harden said. "And I think the fact that 75 percent of our store management teams started as hourly associates really speaks to the opportunities that our jobs provide."

Mitch Runnels says these protests offer the perfect chance to show the corporate world that reform isn't going to come from management. Instead, he says, it's the workers who should have control.

"It's time for something different; it's time for us to do things for ourselves," Runnels said.

Walmart said in a statement Friday that it respects the right of people to protest, but the company also wants to point out that it promotes more than 400 associates every day to new positions.

Special Features

Community Calendar

Find out what's going on around town and submit events!


See it! Shoot it! Send it! Share your weather pics and videos with NewsOn6.com!

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Mobile Alerts

Get breaking news, headlines, weather alerts & more on your cell phone.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Cold Case

    Join Lori and local homicide detectives as they search for Cold Case clues.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

  • Turnpike Timelines

    View a historical road map of Oklahoma's turnpike system.

Powered by WorldNow
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Oklahoma's Own Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Tulsa's Own and Green Country's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KOTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.