Wal-Mart Shrugs Off Threats Of Black Friday Labor Unrest (VIDEO)

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Source: Ben Popken / NBC News

Wal-Mart worker protests and walk-offs planned for Thursday night and Black Friday had the retailer taking them seriously enough to send a top executive to the TODAY show this morning to downplay the story.

Widespread picketing was not expected, Duncan Mac Naughton, Wal-Mart’s chief merchandising and marketing officer, told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “We’ll have 4,000 stores ready to go,” said Naughton, staffed by “one million associates serving our customer.”

The group behind the protest actions, OUR Walmart, told TODAY they are striking to protest what they say is manager retaliation against any employees who complain about working conditions.

“We have a  really open culture of listening to our associates, it’s based on integrity, respect for the individual,” Mac Naughton told TODAY.

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