A former Walmart employee was handcuffed Wednesday when he visited his old store to talk to workers about next week’s “Black Friday” strike. Alex Rivera, who was fired in September, told The Nation that Walmart management intentionally misled Orlando police, leading them to detain him for twenty minutes in the store. The incident was denounced by the union-backed workers’ group OUR Walmart, which alleges that Walmart has been breaking the law to keep its workers in line.
“It was really humiliating,” said Rivera. “Because who would expect being handcuffed in front of a lot of [workers] and customers? Customers that pretty much know you, because you worked for the company for three years.” Rivera predicted that seeing him handcuffed will make some of his co-workers more hesitant to get involved with OUR Walmart: “They’re going to say, ‘If I join the organization and do something like that, this is what’s going to happen to me.’ ”