Lawmakers rally behind fired Wal-Mart employee

RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS 10) – With a handshake from Assemblyman John McDonald and a resounding call to action from Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, Thomas Smith is gaining friends in high places, days after he was fired from the East Greenbush Wal-Mart.

He was accused of stealing several dollars’ worth of empty abandoned cans.

“I am not anti-business, but I am pro-worker and there is something wrong here,” Assemblyman McDonald told News 10.

On Tuesday, the lawmakers signed a letter to the commissioner of labor, demanding an investigation into Smith’s firing.

The concern is unfair treatment of Wal-Mart employees all across the country.

“Walmart’s mistreatment of Mr. Smith touched a familiar nerve in thousands of people,” attorney Alice Green said. “We’ve heard from people all over this country who have suffered and continue to suffer from Walmart’s greed, abuse, and sheer contempt for its employees.

Green has taken on Smith’s case and she’s demanding Wal-Mart give him back his job, repay him for time lost, and retract their incriminating statements.

“If these modest demands are not met by the close of business on Monday, November 30,” Green told News 10. “The center for law and justice and our community of fair-minded people and organizations will call for and lead a nationwide boycott of all Wal-Mart stores throughout the holiday.”

We spoke with Wal-Mart last week when the story first broke. They say Smith signed a paper admitting to stealing.

“He was actually terminated for theft inside of the store,” a Wal-Mart spokesperson said

But Smith’s supporters including the NAACP say he didn’t know what he was signing or that he did anything wrong.

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