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.

By Kim Peterson Nov 16, 2012 3:06PM
Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

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."Wal-Mart store in Secaucus, New Jersey / Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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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Tags: WMT
Nov 16, 2012 8:45PM
I say Walmart workers SHOULD STRIKE!!!
Nov 16, 2012 8:38PM
I have news for you. Obama care is going to cut employees hours and rais the price of evering. and unions had nothing to do with it.Obama suports unions anyway.Oh yby the way I would not esactly call the stuff Walmart sells quality. They sell more than there share of crap.
Nov 16, 2012 8:33PM

This is amazing. The Hostess union employee's strike and the company shuts down and will lay-off over 18,000 workers. The coal Industry has been laying off. Military contractors are threatening to lay-off if the military budget is cut. Wal-Mart employee's are now starting. The economy is terrible right now and there isn't enough of us working to keep supporting those that don't. If you have a job you better keep it. If you strike and loose it then you shouldn't get a dime from us tax payers. I consider that a personal choice listening to your idiotic union leaders. And to me that's the same as quitting a job and you get no unemployment benefits. The union still doesn't get it, not every company is swimming in cash and you can't hold them hostage for more money. Those days are over.

Nov 16, 2012 8:30PM
They ought to be glad to have a job..... Look at the unemployment rate... This is crazy and makes me wish that I could totally avoid all the craziness of shopping. But what happens in a recession is that people don't buy as much so they have a lot of jobs that could be lost anyway..... Stupidity to say the least.
Nov 16, 2012 8:30PM
Trust-bust Walmart.

Solidarity with their slave workers.

I hope they all walk off the job.

Nov 16, 2012 8:14PM
You, uh trying to remind us of anything there............... PATRIOT?
Nov 16, 2012 8:09PM
They should talk to the unemployed workers at Hostess Bakery.  I understand there's two thousand of them looking for work as a result of their strike.   The ones that complain about poor working conditions, usually are the ones that don't work.   
Nov 16, 2012 8:03PM

It's OK because Barack Obama is going to pay my mortgage.

Nov 16, 2012 7:25PM

Beware of anyone who feels it necessary to keep "reminding" you of who and what they are.

Because if they are really what they proclaim to be... they wouldn't have to keep reminding you.

Nov 16, 2012 6:58PM

What kind of tweaked mentality must one have to strike in the midst of a recesssion?


Sic semper tyrannis

Nov 16, 2012 6:52PM

What kind of tweaked mentality must one have to strike in the midst of a recesssion?


Things are bad, so let's make it worse for all concerned, including one's own well being????

Nov 16, 2012 6:03PM

Yes ABS Apple dropped six weeks after I said it.  Was it supposed to drop the minute after I said for me to be right?  I pointed out flaws in their position, said it would go down and it did.  Get over it.


Nov 16, 2012 6:00PM
When the Walton Family, who now  has combined assets that exceed the wealth of the bottom 150 million US workers, we have a problem.  Strike, strike and continue to strike.
Nov 16, 2012 5:28PM


Did you read where statistics show that Texas will lose it's Repubilcan status by 2016 because of the Latino vote?


Hmmmmmm... That puts the Democrats over the 270 electorial mark BEFORE the primaries doesn't it?



Nov 16, 2012 5:19PM
What a pathetic group ,in the military your responses would be referred to as "I got mine pull up the rope"
Nov 16, 2012 5:17PM

Ole Barry's been out buying and selling people..

I heard they were having a two for one sale over at the Repubilcan National Headquarters!

Nov 16, 2012 5:15PM

WOW....It's Scary Barry the Right Wing Fairy!

Hey Barry where you been?

Nov 16, 2012 5:15PM

Never been a union fan myself so I see the point of the union bashers here.  Welfare Mart does have a history of mistreating it's workers though.  Interesting to see what Welly Mart does and if it leads to anything bigger then just wellymart and it''s unions. 

Occupy Wallmart???? LOL

I am so Coining that phrase !!!!

Nov 16, 2012 5:11PM
If you don't like your job you have a choice-----------QUIT you ****/////////////////
Nov 16, 2012 5:08PM
Have you flown on any airline? Yes they are unionized and by the way the most successful major airline is the most unionized . Walk next time and live your principles.
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