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Black Friday protesters at a Westerly, Rhode Island, Walmart, November 2012.
The wheels of the National Labor Relations Board grind slow and not especially fine, but they have ground to the point of authorizing complaints against Walmart for several alleged violations of workers' rights, including threatening retaliation against workers for striking and actually carrying out such retaliation. According to the complaints, which will be brought before an administrative law judge if Walmart and the workers don't reach a settlement:
  • During two national television news broadcasts and in statements to employees at Walmart stores in California and Texas, Walmart unlawfully threatened employees with reprisal if they engaged in strikes and protests on November 22, 2012.
  • Walmart stores in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Washington unlawfully threatened, disciplined, and/or terminated employees for having engaged in legally protected strikes and protests.
  • Walmart stores in California, Florida, Missouri and Texas unlawfully threatened, surveilled, disciplined, and/or terminated employees in anticipation of or in response to employees’ other protected concerted activities.
Other worker complaints did not have merit, the NLRB found. On the specifics of the complaints authorized by the NLRB, Josh Eidelson reminds us that "a top Wal-Mart spokesperson stated publicly prior to last year’s 'Black Friday' strike that 'depending on the circumstances, there could be consequences' if workers did not show up to work that day; in the weeks following a longer, smaller June strike, at least twenty participants were fired." So, yes, Walmart is facing charges for—among other things—illegal threats because of what its official paid spokespeople said on national television.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 03:00 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans, Dream Menders, and Daily Kos.

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