LOS ANGELES, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Los Angeles police arrested 21 people participating in a wage protest in the city's downtown Thursday.
Several hundred workers, union members and supporters started their protest from downtown's Pershing Square, calling for Walmart, the country's largest employer, to reinstate workers, raise wages and improve working conditions.
Los Angeles Police Department said those arrested were part of a planned act of civil disobedience.
Rally organizers told local media Walmart had illegally disciplined almost 80 workers, firing 20. More than 100 charges of unfair labor practice have been filed with the National Labor Relations Board. And some workers are complaining of low pay.
Walmart did not comment on the protest and arrests, but defended its rates of pay on its website, saying "about 75 percent of our store management teams started as hourly associates, and they earn between 50,000 and 170,000 U.S. dollars a year -- similar to what firefighters, accountants and even doctors make."
"Every year, Walmart promotes about 160,000 people to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay," it said.