Wal-Mart workers prepare for Black Friday protest

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Shoppers and stores around the country are preparing for big Black Friday sales, but a group of Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) workers are getting ready for a protest.

"I'll do whatever it takes to speak out about our concerns -- I'm willing to put my job on the line," says Monique Velasquez, a single mother of five who works in Wal-Mart's photo department in Pico Rivera, California. Velasquez plans to join the protest on Friday.

The union-backed group OUR Walmart, which has helped organize the post-Thanksgiving walk-out, expects thousands of workers around the country to participate. Workers say they are joining the protest to ask the country's largest employer to end what they call retaliation against speaking out for better pay, fair schedules and affordable health care.

In an effort to stop the workers from protesting, Wal-Mart filed a complaint last week with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that the protesters violated labor laws.

The federal labor agency, which was under pressure to act within 72 hours of getting the complaint, has said that it is "highly unlikely" to have a ruling on the complaint in time to stop the Black Friday protests. Nancy Cleeland, a spokeswoman for the NLRB said the complaint is too complex to make a ruling so soon.


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