Wal-Mart workers planning protests at thousands of stores on Black Friday

A group of Wal-Mart employees seeking higher wages said it is planning protests at 1,600 Wal-Mart stores nationwide on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S., according to news reports.

Labor group OUR Walmart said it rallied at 1,200 to 1,400 Walmart stores last year on Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The protests are organized in an attempt to raise the average hourly rate. On average Walmart cashiers are paid $8.48 an hour, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Employees at more than 2,100 stories nationwide have signed an online petition asking for $15 per hour and better working conditions.

The protest announcement came after police arrested 23 people on Thursday outside a Los Angeles-area Wal-Mart protesting what they say are the company’s low wages and treatment of workers who push for better working conditions, Reuters reported.