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CLAYTON, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina labor activists say they're protesting the social cost of Wal-Mart's low prices.

Protests aimed at getting the retailing giant to pay more are planned Friday at Wal-Mart stores in Raleigh and nearby Clayton as holiday shoppers crowd in looking for bargains. Activists say most Wal-Mart workers earn less than $25,000 a year.

The National Labor Relations Board said this week a preliminary investigation backed complaints that the retailer unlawfully threatened California and Texas employees if they engaged in strikes and protests ahead of Black Friday last year.

The NLRB believes Wal-Mart also illegally threatened, disciplined or terminated more than 100 employees in 13 states for participating in protests over wages and working conditions.

Wal-Mart says it disagreed with the labor board and planned to defend itself.

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