Fears that some Walmart employees would walk off the job on the busiest shopping day of the year came and went Friday as the world's largest retailer reported its "best ever" Black Friday.
The Bentonville, Arkansas based Walmart Corporation said Friday that its crowds were larger than in 2011 and thanked its 1.3 million employees, called "associates", for going forward with a long-planned sales event to kick off the holidays.
Threats to derail the company's plans came from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) which seeks to unionize Walmart's workforce. Walmart has fought such efforts to unionize for years. Last week, the company filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board to stop the UFCW's attempts to encourage employee walk-outs.
"Only 26 protests occurred at stores last night and many of them did not include any Walmart associates," Walmart President and CEO Bill Simon said. "We estimate that less than 50 associates participated in the protest nationwide. In fact, this year, roughly the same number of associates missed their scheduled shift as last year," Simon added.