Nonunionized Wal-Mart still facing strikes
Workers are protesting labor conditions, and some are targeting a mass Black Friday walkout. The company responds by filing an unfair labor charge.
Even though it has no employee unions, Wal-Mart (WMT) may get socked with worker strikes on Black Friday.
Workers want better pay, more health care coverage and permission to form unions without retaliation. If Wal-Mart doesn't offer them an olive branch, some of them appear ready to go on strike on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
After days of downplaying the protests, Wal-Mart responded Friday by filing an unfair labor practice charge in the case. Wal-Mart shares closed Friday down 1% to $68.03.
The strikes seem to be coalescing around a group of current and former Wal-Mart workers called Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart, or OUR Wal-Mart. The group is asking Wal-Mart employees to take the Black Friday pledge on its website and refuse to work on that day. The group is getting backing from the United Food and Commercial Workers union, known as UFCW.
Wal-Mart directly targeted UFCW Friday, asking the National Labor Relations Board to stop what it describes as illegal efforts to disrupt business, Reuters reports.
"We are taking this action now because we cannot allow the UFCW to continue to intentionally seek to create an environment that could directly and adversely impact our customers and associates," Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said in a statement. "If they do, they will be held accountable."
The union scoffed, and one spokeswoman described the company as "grasping at straws." OUR Wal-Mart says it has 1,000 protests lined up from now through Black Friday at Wal-Mart locations nationwide.
Many Wal-Mart employees earn less than $10 an hour, and the group is asking the company to bump up pay to at least $13 an hour, according to John Logan, a professor of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University.
In addition, worker health care premiums are expected to rise as much as 36% next year, Reuters reports. Wal-Mart told Reuters that the average health care premium will only rise about 4.4% for employees, however, as some high-premium plans get removed. Wal-Mart pays for routine checkups, but employees need to meet a deductible of at least $1,750 before Wal-Mart begins paying 80% of the cost of doctor visits, tests and other services, Reuters reports.
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We were making $13.00 an hour in 1985... and had 100% company paid insurance.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
Walmart employees: Run, don't walk to your nearest exit this Thanksgiving day.
This group, OUR Walmart, is nothing more than a front for the UFCW, the union that claims to defend their members but ends up making things worse (case in point, the last grocery workers strike here in Southern California). Decades ago, Unions benefitted those who were truly being exploited. Now, unions benefit not only the hard workers, but also the lazy workers. Why work hard when it's hard for an employer to fire you due to Union protection. As for Walmart, my wife has worked for them over ten years. She works hard, hardly ever misses a day and as a result, makes a very good wage. We have health and dental coverage. Is the coverage cheap? Of course not. Health care these days isn't, regardless of what company you work for. This OUR Walmart group are predators, who send their cronies to Walmart parking lots to swoop on the employees walking out to their cars. They also make surprise visits to employees homes (how they get their addresses is a mystery). This happened to my wife when I answered the door and some dude was asking for my her. After finding out who he was, I asked him, "You're from the Union?". "Oh no," the guy answered nervously. I ran his **** out. So, Walmart workers who decide to walk out, go ahead. You'll accomplish nothing but pissing off your bosses and your co-workers who chose not to get caught up in the deceptive UFCW tactics.
This is what happened to hostess. Unions drived the CEO to liquidate the company.
Most Wal mart workers are on the public dime for health care. This is because WalMart with their billions refuse to offer health care and a decent wage. This is a travesty and they should strike. This is not Obamas fault but the fault of Walmart. These major companies are driving out small businesses and then pay meager salaries. All this while getting most of their products from China. This is greed at its worst. If you support Walmart your tax dollars will continue to pay for the workers health care. Pay these people more money so they have money to spend to help the economy, not just enough to eat.
By any chance do any of you people work for Wal-Mart? I do! I live in a right to work state and believe me, a job is a job right now. Do you know how many people over 50 work for Wal-Mart? We are the ones that didn't get a college degree and are just trying to retirement.
Union?!? Why should I pay someone for me to work? The ones complaining probably never swung a hammer, waited tables (at $.50 HR.), or did any work they could get just to survive!
Please, go cry in your beer somewhere else!
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