Monday, November 18, 2013

Woot! Walmart to be charged by NLRB for illegally retaliating against 117 workers

The federal labor board is prepared to prosecute Walmart for violating workers' rights on a day when the company faces strikes by drivers who haul its goods in California and retail employees in Ohio. The news media is also reporting that a Walmart store is holding a food drive for its own employees and that a Walmart subcontracted warehouse exposes its workers to horrifying conditions.

Call it Walmart's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

ThinkProgress spoke to representatives of OUR Walmart, the group helping to organize workers:
The group says the NLRB will prosecute the company for illegally firing and disciplining more than 117 workers, including some who went on strike last June. It also includes threats by managers and spokespeople meant to discourage workers from striking. Workers could potentially see back pay, reinstatement to their former positions, and the reversal of disciplinary actions...
...workers have repeatedly claimed that they are fired or disciplined for going on strike. The company itself has also admitted to threatening workers who look into forming unions that their benefits could disappear if they organize.
And even as Teamsters walk the strike line with port drivers outside of American Logistics, warehouse workers inside are telling the press about filthy restrooms, blocked fire exits and chemical odors. Josh Eidelson at Salon spoke to several employees of a Walmart warehouse subcontractor:
“There is only one restroom for both genders”; “Emergency exits are often blocked”; and “Workers are constantly exposed to hazards, specifically falling boxes and forklifts driving in the same areas as workers who walk.” At Pacer International, workers’ allegations include “Fire exits are often blocked”; “Forklift drivers routinely drive into the dark trailers and containers while workers are inside, presenting a risk of workers being hit by forklifts”; and “There is a constant propane smell in the facility, resulting in workers feeling dizzy, nauseous and overwhelmed. There is no ventilation in the facility.”  
And Black Friday is just around the corner. If you'd like to come and and support Walmart workers, click here to find an action near you.