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  • The protest forced Walmart to temporarily closed its doors after the police intervened.

    The protest forced Walmart to temporarily closed its doors after the police intervened. | Photo: Facebook / Juventud Trabajadora PPT

“Walmart represents poverty, looting, exploitation, oppression and discrimination,” said the MST in a communique.

The Socialist Movement of Workers, MST, protested inside the Walmart Supercenter in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Monday, denouncing under-employment and converting the U.S. Labor Day holiday into the “Day of Unemployment."

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The protest forced Walmart to temporarily closed its doors after the police intervened.

“Walmart represents poverty, looting, exploitation, oppression and discrimination,” said the MST in a communique. “This megastore is the symbol of the life conditions and exploitation which want to doom us with the Fiscal Board,” it added, referring to the recently Washington-imposed board that will oversee the financial restructuring of Puerto Rico's debt.

“Walmart not only displaced a number of small and medium businesses, but also gave very low-paid jobs to workers here, who are now unable to find good wages,” said MST spokesperson Hugo Delgado. “Under-employment, in our opinion, is just as problematic as unemployment. Today, on Labor Day in Puerto Rico, we are celebrating something that does not exist: employment.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in Puerto Rico reached over 11 percent in July—totaling about 130,000 people, with a 0.2 percent increase compared with the previous month.

“The issue with unemployment and underemployment in Puerto Rico is that it is not correctly monitored: each employee counts twice if they are working in two different companies,” explained Delgado.

According to the MST spokesperson, the sectors the most affected by under-employment are service, retail and the food industry.

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