Workers Protests Against Walmart Over Mass Firing
Former Walmart workers rallied in California Monday after the retail giant fired 2,200 at five locations despite the store saying it will do all it can to rehire the workers.
Though Walmart has blamed plumbing issues for the store closures, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which filed an injunction against the retail giant, has accused the store of retaliating against increased protests. The protest was held near a Walmart in Pico Rivera which has faced labor disputes since 2012.
“City officials point out that the company has obtained no permits to begin repairs in any of these locations,” UFCW said in a statement. “Walmart has failed to offer any evidence of a plumbing emergency that would require the immediate closing of five stores.”
Despite all of this, the store has promised to do all it can to get the employees rehired once the work is complete and that they will access to 60 days of severance pay, reports The New York Times.
“Among the five stores was the Pico Rivera, California Walmart Supercenter, which has been the hotbed for worker action,” the UFCW continued. “The store is also of symbolic important to the low-wage worker movement, as it sparked the Walmart and fast food strikes when it was the first store to go on strike in October of 2012.”
The injunction against Walmart was filed on behalf of the group Our Walmart, a labor group, which has led previous protests against Walmart. Back in November the group organized a nationwide Black Friday protests against the store.
“We don’t believe there is any basis for an injunction,” a Walmart spokesman countered in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“As we have said all along, these stores were closed temporarily so we could fix the ongoing plumbing issues and it would be unfortunate if this outside group attempts to slow this process down for our associates and customers,” he continued. “Each of these five locations had more than 100 plumbing problems reported over the last two years, the most out of our more than 5,000 stores in the U.S.”
The injunction against Walmart also argues the recent closures are not the first time Walmart has taken dramatic action against workers for labor unrest. It notes that in June of 2014, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that Walmart had violated labor law when it closed the Jonquiére, Quebec Walmart store.
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