Outside a Wal-Mart in Duarte about 7:30 a.m. Friday, nearly 50 protesters in lime-green T-shirts walked in a circle outside the supercenter, beating a drum, pumping their fists in the air and waving signs that read "On Strike" and "Freedom to Speak Out."
The group, Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart, is advocating for higher wages, better healthcare and more consistent hours. OUR Wal-Mart organizers said 1,000 protests were taking place across the country on Black Friday.
Wal-Mart said 26 protests occurred nationwide and involved fewer than 50 associates, U.S. Walmart Chief Executive Bill Simon said in a statement Friday.
Richard Reynoso, 19, of Baldwin Park, walked out of his shift a half-hour early to join the protests. He picked up a megaphone and led supporters from the United Food and Commercial Workers union in a series of chants.
"Who's got the power?" Reynoso shouted.
"We got the power," the crowd responded.
"What kind of power?"
In the year he's been working at Wal-Mart, managers have increased their demands and done little to improve working conditions, Reynoso said. Since joining OUR Wal-Mart, he said he's worked fewer hours.