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Consumer/worker group praises NLRB action regarding claims about Walmart retaliation towards workers

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November 20, 2013
Contact: NCL Communications, Ben Klein, (202) 835-3323, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Washington, DC—The nation’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy group today is applauding the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for authorizing the filing of complaints against Walmart for violating workers’ rights. The set of charges includes unlawfully threatening employees with retaliation for engaging in strikes and protests on last year’s Black Friday and unlawfully threatening, disciplining, and/or terminating employees for having engaged in legally-protected strikes and protests.

“It is high time that Walmart be held accountable for its unlawful actions and violations against associates,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “This set of complaints focuses on the threat of – and actual - retaliation used to keep workers in line and as a weapon against workers who are trying to stand up for their rights.”  

Under the federal National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which the NLRB enforces, employees (whether or not they are unionized) are protected from retaliation for engaging in certain activities including protesting and organizing for better wages or working conditions. The NLRB Office of General Counsel found merit to alleged violations of the NLRA against Walmart for the following:

  • 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.

“In order to silence its employees, Walmart has used the threat of discipline and termination. They even used their spokesman in two national television news broadcasts to threaten workers who were planning on striking and protesting,” said Michell K. McIntyre, NCL’s Outreach Director on Labor & Worker Rights. “Walmart doesn’t make empty threats - at least 43 workers were disciplined and as least 23 were fired.”

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.