A source inside the union-backed group OUR Walmart alleged Wednesday that officials in charge fired non-unionized workers for trying to unionize themselves.
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) has been at the forefront of unionizing Walmart workers. It claims to be fighting for better wages and working conditions. The worker group OUR Walmart has led much of the union effort by hiring nonunion workers to help. According to sources for the New York Post, however, the union fired some of its nonunionized Seattle workers when they tried to also join a union.
“As union organizers, it’s our job to teach people about their labor rights and how to be more effective at Walmart,” one of the fired union workers told the New York Post. “Is all for workers’ rights yet it denied its own staff union contracts and didn’t pay us overtime and eventually fired us for reaching out to a union.”
It is not uncommon for unions to utilize worker groups like OUR Walmart. Such groups do not have the same restrictions unions would have. They can reach out to employees and declare protests much more easily. National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) rules, however, prohibit worker groups from helping to unionize employees without filing a petition for an election.
The Federation of Agents and International Representatives is the main union which represents UFCW employees. The nonunion workers were allegedly fired just months after reaching out to the UFCW about unionizing. They were paid $10,000 less a year and they did not qualify for overtime.
“This is just another shameful example of big labor’s hypocrisy and proves that they have no interest in helping workers,” Heather Greenaway, a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute, said in a statement. “But filling their union coffers with hard earned worker wages.”
OUR Walmart has been in the spotlight before over questionable activities. It has been criticized by groups like Worker Center Watch for allegedly using protests as a means to illegally help UFCW unionize Walmart employees.
OUR Walmart and the UFCW did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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