The hoped-for meeting was not granted. Within minutes, a dozen Bentonville police officers rushed in to reinforce the security guards in forming a barricade between the employees and their headquarters’ front door. A labor relations representative emerged from the mostly windowless building. She announced that she would meet only with workers who carried Walmart employee discount cards in addition to their company badges and state IDs. Without discount cards, the protesting employees would be arrested.
“I didn’t come here today to go shopping, so why do I need my discount card?” said Girshriela Green, a young mother who until recently worked at Walmart in Southern California. “I feel totally disrespected. Shame on them for not having the common decency to sit down and talk to their own associates.”