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Want to complain about Walmart's working conditions? That's a lawsuit

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“They’re really exaggerating. They’ve really blown it up,” Diaz says of the allegations. The company’s real goal, she says, is “to stop us from protesting their store. We’ve been really effective. We are building support for their workers and telling their stories.”

Lopez wasn’t named in the suit. (The lawsuit did say, in reference to that Feb. 28 incident, that she’d been “disciplined for misconduct.”) Walmart, she surmises, would rather lop off the proverbial head of the snake. “They’re getting sued because they’re helping associates want better changes at Walmart – better pay, better benefits,” Lopez says. “They’re the main people. [Walmart feels that] if we don’t have them, they can stop us.”

I asked Lopez why, if things are so bad, she still works there. She likes her co-workers, she replied. But something has to give. “If there were changes, I would stay. If I could move up, I would stay. If I could get 40 hours, yes.”

Walmart, by the way, earned $15.7 billion in profit in 2011.

Follow Jeffrey Billman on Twitter: @jeffreybillman

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