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Thanksgiving Shouldn't Be About Wal-Mart, Says Florida Congressman

Grayson slammed Wal-Mart for commercializing Thanksgiving Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ah, Thanksgiving: football, parades, turkey and stuffing, Rep. Alan Grayson going after Wal-Mart.  

The Florida Democrat, who is one of the retail giant's biggest critics on Capitol Hill, renewed what has become his annual Thanksgiving tradition Wednesday, taking on Wal-Mart for its treatment of workers.  

"Thanksgiving was once a holiday reserved for spending time with our loved ones — families across America gathered around the table to enjoy a meal ... and give thanks," Grayson said in a statement.  

"But Thanksgiving's importance has faded in recent years. The holiday is now merely a precursor to Black Friday — the day in which stores like Walmart slash prices to attempt to generate larger profits for themselves, at the expense of their employees. For Walmart's corporate owners, Thanksgiving has become 'Black Friday Eve' — a day to pry families apart and work employees to the bone for next to nothing in wages."  

Grayson wrapped up with a vow of support for Wal-Mart employees staging Black Friday protests of wages and working conditions across the country Wednesday.  

In 2012, Grayson was escorted out of an Orlando Wal-Mart by security guards after participating in a Thanksgiving protest at the store.  

After protesting Wal-Mart workers were arrested on Black Friday last year, Grayson told Salon that, “Wal-Mart is a machine that exists solely for the purpose of enriching its owners and … the top managers of Wal-Mart, and in so doing wreaks havoc on the lives of both workers and suppliers."  

   

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