Striking Walmart workers and supporters protest at a store on Black Friday in Paramount, California
Striking Walmart workers and supporters protest at a store on Black Friday in Paramount, California, in 2012 (Reuters)

The world's biggest retailer, Walmart, is facing mass protests in the US on Black Friday, one of the biggest dates in the US commercial calendar.

Worker group Our Walmart has planned 1,500 protests across the country for higher wages,  more full-time job and the end of unlawful intimidation against local employers.

The retailer, owned by America's wealthiest family, has already asked judges in the states of Maryland and Florida to ban protesters from getting into the stores on Black Friday, according to the Nation.

Our Walmart called the protest the "largest mobilisation of working families in recent history" and announced rallies in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Chicago, Seattle, Washington DC, Minneapolis and Sacramento.

Last year, hundreds of Walmart workers walked out of stores in 46 states on Black Friday, according to Our Walmart.

The organisation said more walkouts in Miami and Tampa took place ahead of Black Friday, while police in Los Angeles said 54 people were protesting outside Walmart's newly opened Chinatown store at the beginning of November.

One worker told Al Jazeera that he likes his job at the retailer giant, but with $12,000 a year and four children he is not able to provide for his family.

Walmart makes more than $17 billion in profits and Our Walmart called for the retailer to pay employees a minimum of $25,000 a year for full-time work. The group is also calling "for an end to illegal retaliation, and for Walmart to publicly commit to improving labor standards".

The retailer recently replaced CEO Michael Duke, who has overseen a period of low performances for the company, with veteran Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart's international division.

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB's) general counsel confirmed that Walmart has been using unlawful intimidation and coercion against employees who have dared to have their say against poverty wages and poor working conditions.

The NLRB said that Walmart "threatened, surveilled, disciplined and/or terminated employees in anticipation of or in response to employees' protected concerted activities" in 14 states.

The retaliatory attitude is not "the result of overzealous actions by a few rogue managers at isolated stores", according to John Logan, professor and director of Labor and Employment Studies at San Francisco State University.

"Instead, it appears to be part of a concerted and systematic company-wide effort to silence courageous employees who speak out against low wages and poor conditions," he said.

"The unlawful actions included comments by a senior spokesperson on national television that workers may suffer "consequences" for participating in strikes."

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