NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Protesters outside a Walmart in North Bergen are taking part in a national movement from Los Angeles to Washington, demanding a minimum of $15 an hour and more full-time jobs.

It’s the latest round of protests to hit Walmart, with organizers saying demonstrations are planned for 1,600 locations Friday.

“We’re just trying to improve the company and improve our communities and the economy, we’re not trying to shut Walmart down,” said Walmart worker Barbara Gertz who came from Aurora, Colorado to join protesters in New Jersey. “We feel that Walmart could be so much more than it is.”

Walmart spokesman Bill Wertz said the protesters don’t represent the average worker.

“Not only is our average hourly wage close to $13 an hour already, only a tiny fraction of the 1.4 million associates we have throughout the nation make minimum wage,” Wertz told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

Wetz said workers get benefits and opportunities for advancement.

“About 75 percent of our store management team started out as hourly associates — they were stockers, they were cart pushers or just people working the cash register, but they’ve had a chance to move up and Walmart promotes from within,” Wertz said.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a statement supporting the workers, saying, “Across the country, workers are standing up to demand a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. I’m proud to stand with them as they raise their voices to send an important message: No one who works full-time should have to struggle to feed their families.”

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