The National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency that enforces labor laws has reportedly found merit in claims that Wal Mart “unlawfully threatened” employees for their part in the Black Friday walkouts last year, in which about 400 people participated, according to the Huffington Post.
The NLRB says that Wal Mart “intimidated, surveilled, or punished workers in 14 different states, violating U.S. labor law” and illegally threatened workers in two news broadcasts, including one from last year in which Wal Mart spokesperson David Tovar told CBS News that there “could be consequences” for workers who do not show up for work.
The labor board dismissed some charges that workers filed, including claims that Walmart violated employee rights by pushing them off of Walmart property, and another that Wal Mart illegally changed schedules in retaliation for striking.
Brooke Buchanan, a Walmart spokesperson, disputed the NLRB’s position:
“This is just a procedural step and we will pursue our options to defend the company because we believe our actions were legal and justified. The fact is, we provide good jobs and unparalleled opportunities for our associates. This is our busiest time of the year and we’re focused on serving our customers and helping them have a great holiday season.”
One of Walmart’s unparalleled opportunities is the unparalleled opportunity to collect food from a special holiday food drive the company recently set up for its own employees. Another is an unparalleled opportunity to collect government assistance because Walmart simply refuses to pay a living wage.
More strikes are planned this holiday season.