Wal-Mart announced Wednesday that it would challenge a federal labor board judge’s recommendation that the store be charged with worker rights violations.
Managers of two of the retail giant’s California stores were charged with discouraging workers from going on legally protected strikes. This was based on a complaint filed just after Black Friday in 2012 by OUR Walmart, a worker center affiliated with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). An administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a recommendation essentially agreeing with the labor group.
Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “We do not agree with some of the Administrative Law Judge’s recommended decisions.”
Lundberg added that Wal-Mart does “expect to file exceptions with the NLRB.”
UFCW trumpeted the ruling.
“The judge is ordering Walmart to immediately stop making intimidating comments to workers who are part of OUR Walmart, the national organization of Walmart workers calling for better jobs at the company. Six workers will also have illegal disciplinary actions removed from their records for time that they were on strike,” UFCW said in a statement.
The statement continued, “In reaction to the first strikes in Walmart’s history in 2012, Walmart managers and a top spokesperson began to illegally threaten workers for coming together and calling for better wages, schedules and an end to the illegal treatment of workers.”
“Yesterday’s decision reverses the disciplinary action taken against six striking workers at the Richmond store and addresses threats made by a Walmart manager in the Placerville store that the store would close if too many workers became part of OUR Walmart and the threat made by a manager in the Richmond store,” UFCW claimed.
To further their point, UFCW cited a paper from 2013 by Jobs with Justice (JWJ) which detailed “extensive and systematic efforts to silence associates” by Wal-Mart.
JWJ was founded by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and is primarily union-funded. CWA and UFCW are both affiliates of the AFL-CIO, which advocated the most recent rounds of Wal-Mart protests this past Black Friday.
OUR Walmart has attracted criticism from groups like Worker Center Watch for allegedly using these recent protests as a means to illegally help UFCW unionize Wal-Mart employees in violation of National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) rules, which prohibit such actions without filing a petition for an election.
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