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Striking Walmart workers hold signs saying
The United Food and Commercial Workers union won't try to unionize Walmart workers—for now, anyway. In an agreement highlighting the legal limits placed on worker organizing, the union and its allied group OUR Walmart have committed to that and to not picketing for 60 days, as a result of which, in six months the National Labor Relations Board will dismiss an unfair labor practice charge filed by Walmart.

As OUR Walmart ramped up for strikes and protests on Black Friday, Walmart filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB charging that the ongoing protests were representational picketing aimed at winning union recognition. Such picketing is limited to 30 days. Worker activists and spokespeople for OUR Walmart and the UFCW said, though, that the strikes and picketing were in response to Walmart's unfair labor practices and for higher wages rather than aimed at union representation. Steven Greenhouse reports, however, that:

But other OUR Walmart members and union officials said their long-term goal was very much to unionize store workers. Such statements seemed to buttress the company’s claims that the demonstrations were indeed illegally protracted picketing that aimed to win union recognition.
That's got to be a very, very long-term goal, though. No one thinks Walmart workers are unionizing in the near future. For now, OUR Walmart is seeking to get workers a little more of a voice in the workplace and to address issues like part-time scheduling (which Walmart recently said it would be improving), and the divide between those short- and long-term goals are at the center of the current agreement with the NLRB.

For its part, OUR Walmart emphasized the range of unfair labor practice charges Walmart has faced and often settled or been penalized for, and asserted that the current agreement "does not affect or limit OUR Walmart members’ and supporter’s ability to otherwise protest, demonstrate against or strike because of Walmart’s unfair practices and poor record on labor rights and standards."

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:54 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  30 days worth of free speech? Boy, is that a (6+ / 0-)

    totally horseshit rule. Workers should be able to picket for union recognition until such time as it is granted, especially since current rules, in effect, allow companies a near infinite stall of any and all unionizing proceedings.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:16:42 AM PST

    •  Historically (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris

      ..when enough people finally say: "I've had all I can takes and I can't takes no more" they go all Popeye muscular on the S.O.B's and kick the shit out of the Pinkertons.

      In historical cartoon-land anyway. What with the Tea-party and all, I feel like Roger fucking Rabbit recently.

      Futurama even.

      Which is it, Mister Orwell?
      Napoleon the pig, or Winston's telescreens..?

      Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to #&@$ in the first place? - George Carlin

      by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:05:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And now the NLRB can't do anything so... (4+ / 0-)

    Picket away! Cause Wal-Mart can't do shit!

  •  What a great law (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If a business can drag out the unionization drive for a whole month then it becomes illegal to protest their obstruction.

    How many union drives take less than a month, I wonder.  Approximately zero?

    "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

    by libdevil on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:49:26 PM PST

  •  Whatever.... (3+ / 0-)

    The sleazy Walmart fascists still aren't getting a cent of my money and I urge my friends and family not to patronize them either.  The only thing that will bring those greedheads to their knees is to hit them at the bottom line.

    The NLRB can't order us not to boycott.

    See the children of the earth who wake to find the table bare, See the gentry in the country riding out to take the air. ~~Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"

    by Panama Pete on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:56:41 PM PST

    •  Boycott (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, I agree with you, that Walmart will not negotiate in good faith till their bottom line is hurt. It is only the loss of customers that will bring Walmart to negotiate with the unions. I for one do not shop at Walmart.

  •  I had a very WalMart day today (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Went with a woman from the city who took a pic on her phone of the RedRyder pink-painted BB gun marketed to the little girl in all of us after I laughed and and pointed and she sent it to a friend in the city.

    For shits and giggles I guess.

    The damn stores are an assault on the senses and on everything decent and holy for this sailor.

    And I don't even know how to sail!

    Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to #&@$ in the first place? - George Carlin

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:56:57 PM PST

  •  Walmart is evil nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Fuck the Waltons (0+ / 0-)

    On second thought - Don't.

    If they're breed.. There's no hereditary inbred WalMart royalty for them to leave their money and political power to.

    If you're gonna fuck a Walton - use protection.

    Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to #&@$ in the first place? - George Carlin

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:19:24 PM PST

    •  Not sure if I missed the (0+ / 0-)

      "ing" or the "are planning on" but fuck a pigeon and get religion - It's the thought that counts.

      At any rate - including five and a half percent.. Don't fuck 'em.

      Great Britain-ites could have done the same thing. Barren Dowager Queen finally frees Canada due to..

      Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to #&@$ in the first place? - George Carlin

      by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:25:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  For those that don't know, Walmart jobs suck. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My cousin, who had designed curriculum programs for remedial English reading and writing for college freshmen, is now working at Walmart. 39 hours a week. Schedule constantly changing. Etc.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:21:44 PM PST

  •  Picketing limitations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The primary federal labor law (the National Labor Relations Act) was amended years ago to make several of the most effective forms of union activity (e.g., certain types of boycotts or pickets and unconventional striking) illegal.  Sadly, the labor laws that were originally designed to strengthen and legitimize collective bargaining are now contain some significant impediments to progress.  If we are ever to have an economy that actually works for the people and business, we need to dramatically reform our labor laws.  This is just one area in which the reform is needed.

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