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the guardian

Thomas Smith said he was unaware that taking bottles and cans left in shopping carts violated store policy as advocate argues race issues were behind firing

Walmart: all your trash are belong to us.
Walmart: all your trash are belong to us. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

An Albany-area Walmart employee fired from his job for redeeming $2 worth of cans he collected while gathering shopping carts in the store’s parking lot has drawn widespread sympathy and support on social media.

Thomas Smith, 52, told the Albany Times Union that he was fired in early November for redeeming a total of $5.10 worth of cans and bottles on two occasions, and said he was unaware that doing so violated store policy.

Support for Smith grew after a story on his termination from the Albany Times Union. A GoFundMe drive for Smith set up by Dounya Hamdan, of Chicago, has nearly reached the $5,000 goal as of Friday afternoon.

 

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