The Nation Magazine reports today in their “E-Mail Nation” communication that Walmart has filed a National Labor Relations Board charge against the United Food & Commerical Workers Union alleging that the pickets are illegal and asking for a judge to shut them down, weeks into a wave of historic strikes, and days before a planned Black Friday showdown. This also coincides with recent news reports that Walmart is soon expected to offer stock dividends to their shareholders and at a time when stock prices have been hitting all-time highs, in spite of an international bribery scandal that is still unfolding.
An excerpt from the recent The Nation article, by Josh Eidelson:
Walmart’s letter to the UFCW accuses the union of “enlisting [workers] in orchestrated schemes to disrupt Walmart’s business operations by telling them that federal labor law protects their participation” in strikes that are in fact illegal, and thus could get them fired (the letter also alleges that the protests involve a range of crimes beyond those in the NLRB charge, including trespassing). A Walmart spokesperson drove a similar message home Sunday, telling CNN that if workers don’t show up on Black Friday, “there could be consequences.” The target audience for that statement, and for Walmart’s latest legal salvo, may not be the media, or the courts, or the UFCW, but the thousands of workers who want to see change at Walmart but have haven’t yet decided whether going on strike is worth the risk.
Read the full article on The Nation’s site, here.
UPDATE: Walmart has sent store managers a message to employees saying they could “get disciplined” for striking.
Image credit: 40 Years of Faulty Wiring.