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Is Walmart Really a Great Company to Work For or Is It Just Another Taboo?
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Sometimes you hear many speak about injustice in the workforce but how far is too far? That is a question for many in Washington after the federal agency that enforces labor was quoted on Monday saying that it has decided to pursue allegations against the industry giant Walmart after hearing how the company threatened and punished workers who had planned to go on strike last year according to Huffington Post.

According to officials at the National Labor Relations Board, the agency’s general council investigated and “found merit” in worker’s claims that Walmart “unlawfully threatened” employees for taking part in walkouts surrounding last year’s Back Friday shopping season.  The agency stated that Walmart intimidated, monitored or punished workers in 14 different states which violates U.S. labor law.

  
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The agency also mentioned that Walmart had illegally threatened workers in comments made in two news broadcasts. The allegations apparently refer in part to an interview with David Tovar, a Walmart spokesperson and CBS Evening News sometime last year,  to which Mr. Tovar was responding “there could be consequences” for workers who are anticipated to show up for work and  do not.

Another spokesperson for Walmart, Brooke Buchanan, commented that the company disagreed with the general counsel’s position.

“This is just a procedural step and we will pursue our options to defend the company because we believe our actions were legal and justified” she stated, “The fact is, we provide good jobs and unparalleled opportunities for our associates. This is the busiest time of the year and we’re focused on serving our customers and helping them have a great holiday season,’ But another question is raised as to who’s expense.

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The labor board stated that it found no merit in some of the other allegations that workers had filed, along with the back of the United Food and Commercial Workers, a longstanding adversary of Walmart, the NLRB relinquished one claim that Walmart violated employees’ rights by forcing protesters off of store property and also changing employees’ work schedules illegally in reprisal for striking.

The charges by the general counsel are in lieu to an accusation by a prosecutor and not by a decision of the board. These type of cases are often settled before the board initially motion to prosecute a company, normally a resolution that the parties can agree to. If Walmart and the workers’ representatives aren’t able to come to a understanding, then the labor board will move forward and file its accusations.



Before the NLRB’s announcement Monday a call with reports and the president of UFCW, Joseph Hansen, Mr. Hansen stated that the charges were proof that “workers who’ve joined together to improve conditions have been targeted.” He also stated “Walmart is on their heels. Does Walmart treat its workers fairly? It is a debate that we welcome, and one that we plan on winning.”

Around 400 Walmart employees’ participated in the Black Friday strikes last year, disputing that the company doesn’t provide livable wages, decent benefits and stable scheduling. More strikes are being planned for the holiday shopping season by the UFCW and its non-union Walmart associate, OUR Walmart but they couldn’t assess how many workers might participate.

This is nothing new for NLRB coming after charges against a company for comments made in the media. In 2011, the board’s general counsel accused Boeing executives for unjustly threatening workers in the press for going on strike in the past. That particular case was eventually resolved.

Let’s see what happens this year….

Image source: https://spinsucks.com



 

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