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Cleaning Workers Walk Out In Black Friday Protest

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(credit: CBS)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Black Friday is the busiest day of the holiday shopping season, with an estimated 97 million Americans expected to search for the best deals.

However, not everyone was celebrating the nation’s hunt for great deals.

A number of cleaning workers for retail outlets walked off the job on Friday to protest unfair labor practices.

Those workers are contracted at, among other places, Target stores in the Twin Cities. The workers joined together through Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha, a Twin Cities workers center, to protest their working conditions and wages.

“Every evening we are surrounded by a wealth of food and goods, yet we can barely provide for our own families,” Enrique Barcenas said. Barcenas works at the Target store in Apple Valley.

Minneapolis Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges released a statement indicating support for the workers who walked out.

“At the start of this holiday season, Minneapolis is thankful to the low-wage workers who drive our thriving economy,” she said. “Because of the hard work that they and their families do every day, Minneapolis’ economy is thriving and is recovering faster from the recession than almost any other big city. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.”

The protest comes as many stores pushed their opening times for Black Friday earlier than ever before, with many retailers opting to open as early as 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

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