(Bentonville,Arkansas) Ucs Labor News– In a surprise move the Wal-Mat corporation reversed years of aggressive union busting activity by agreeing to fund a nation wide union vote in all of it’s stores. According to Wal-Mart CEO and President H. Lee Scott, “Wal-Marts million man work force must be given the chance to decide in a fair and honest union vote free of violence and intimidation.”
The reversal is a shock to all that have been working to unionize Wal-Mart stores. The firm in know for viciously putting down any union organizing behavior. In the past Wal-mart contacted “consultants ” to harass, intimidate and even assault works for trying to unionize. Wal-Mart went so far as to shutdown an entire store after the staff voted for form a union.
Wal-Mart will be on trial on September 23, 2009 in Aiken for its illegal campaign of interrogation, threats and discipline against workers to suppress their legal right to organize with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW).
In Palestine, Texas, the NLRB charges that Wal-Mart illegally sabotaged the union election by transferring anti-union workers into the unit just before the election to dilute the strength of the union supporters. Corporate union busters are also named for illegal threats and interrogation of employees. The Palestine meat department workers narrowly lost an election to join UFCW Local 455 in May, 2008.
The new Board case addresses Wal-Mart’s illegal activities that sabotaged the union drive in Palestine and the company’s failure to respect the workers’ choice for UFCW representation at the Jacksonville, Texas Wal-Mart Supercenter meat department.
Refused to accept workers’ vote
Wal-Mart workers made history in Jacksonville, voting in February, 2000 in favor of UFCW representation. But Wal-Mart has refused to accept the workers’ choice for a voice at work. The NLRB decided to prosecute Wal-Mart for refusing to bargain a union contract with the workers.
Following the workers’ vote, Wal-Mart announced plans to stock its stores with case-ready meat. The complaint also cites the retailer for failing to bargain with the UFCW over the plans to shift to case-ready meat. The Texas workers will have their day in court when the trial begins on November 18, 2002 in Tyler, Texas.
Wal-Mart is waging a systematic campaign of intimidation and coercion across the country to deny workers a voice on the job. The NLRB-an independent government agency-has issued complaints against the retailer in 25 states for illegal firings, threats, intimidation and coercion.
In 2005, labor unions created several websites and organizations to shed new light[clarify] on Wal-Mart. These included Wake Up Wal-Mart (United Food and Commercial Workers) and Wal-Mart Watch (Service Employees International Union). By the end of 2005, Wal-Mart launched Working Families for Wal-Mart, an operation managed by Wal-Mart to tell the company’s side of the story. Additional efforts to counter criticism included a PR campaign in 2005, managed through its PR website walmartfacts.com, as well as several television commercials. The company retained the PR firm Edelman to respond to negative media attention, and started interacting directly with bloggers by sending them news, suggesting topics for postings, and sometimes inviting them to visit its corporate headquarters