Wal-Mart files labor complaint over planned worker protests
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, took legal action to block employee protests outside stores that might disrupt its business next week at the start of holiday shopping on Black Friday.
Wal-Mart filed an unfair labor practice charge on Friday with the National Labor Relations Board in Washington against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. The complaint seeks to halt attempts by the union to have its members disrupt its business and intimidate customers.
The union, representing more than 1.3 million workers in grocery and retail stores and the meat packing industry, said Wal-Mart workers began walking off the job on Wednesday at stores and warehouses in California.
The strikes are the first of what the union said are 1,000 protests planned in Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Washington leading up to Black Friday on Nov. 23, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday and traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year.
“Wal-Mart is doing everything in its power to attempt to silence our voice,” union member Colby Harris of Lancaster, Texas, said in a statement distributed by the group. “Nothing — not even this baseless, unfair labor practice charge — will stop us from speaking out.”
Workers are protesting Wal-Mart's manipulation of hours and benefits, efforts to keep people from working full-time and discrimination against women and minorities, the union said in a statement.
“No matter how hard we work, my husband and I can't catch up on our bills,” Charlene Fletcher, a Wal-Mart employee from Duarte, Calif., said in a statement from the union. Her husband, Greg, also works at the retailer.
“We just found out that we are both scheduled to work on Thanksgiving Day instead of being home with our kids.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Financial planning for disabled people a little-tapped field
- AT&T evolves beyond phones
- Murray Energy expects to lay off as many as 1,800 more
- This robot is cute, artificially intelligent and employed
- How to cover work history gaps
- Taxes matter in fund investing, even when there’s no bill
- Credit cards with chips no fraud fix, experts say
- FAA: Cockpit email system reduces delays
- Murray, Alpha notify West Virginia coal miners of layoffs
- Fertilizer industry soars amid gas glut
- Parent of Lane Bryant, Justice to buy owner of Ann Taylor for $2B