Union Black Friday Campaign Against Wal-Mart Attracts Scrutiny
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) and its subsidiary OUR Walmart are planning demonstrations at 1,600 of the retail giant’s locations the day after Thanksgiving.
But are they also planning to coordinate on organizing Wal-Mart workers into a union? Some labor watchdogs think so.
One example is a message on the California School Employees Association (CSEA) website asking, “Are you able and willing to be on release time for six weeks to work on the ‘OUR Walmart’ campaign to help Walmart workers win union representation?” The message has since been removed. UFCW and CSEA are both affiliated with the California Labor Federation.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and federal courts ruled that OUR Walmart is actually forbidden from attempting to unionize Wal-Mart employees.
Last year, the NLRB dropped an unfair labor practice charge filed by Wal-Mart against the UFCW because of specific commitments made by the union to disavow “any recognitional or organizational object and promised to maintain a disclaimer to that effect on Making Change for Wal-Mart and OUR Walmart websites.”
The disclaimer can be found at the bottom of the OUR Walmart website and says, “UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of its employees.”
As such, any plans to unionize Wal-Mart employees on Black Friday by OUR Walmart would be in violation of the ruling. Ryan Williams, a senior adviser at Worker Center Watch, told The Daily Caller News Foundation the campaign smacks of coordination.
“OUR Walmart is a union front group,” Williams told TheDCNF. “Worker centers are a vehicle used by big labor to circumvent labor laws.”
He added, “They are able to do everything that unions do but don’t have to follow labor laws.”
TheDCNF could not reach OUR Walmart or the UFCW for further comment.
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