The chief executive of Walmart Mike Duke has stepped down while the company struggles to deal with a sequence of confrontations with workers. Duke is to be replaced by company veteran Doug McMillon by February of 2014. The decision arose just days after claims by campaigners that Walmart is to be prosecuted for “violating the rights” of workers who participated in strikes over wages in the US.
The National Labor Relations Board claims that Walmart “unlawfully threatened” employees for their part in the Black Friday walkouts last year, in which about 400 people participated. They have decided to pursue charges against Walmart for threatening and punishing workers who planned to go on strike last year.
“The board’s decision confirms what Walmart workers have long known: the company is illegally trying to silence employees who speak out for better jobs,” said Sarita Gupta, executive director of Jobs with Justice. “Americans believe that we have the responsibility – and the right – to speak out against corporate abuses of workers, and this proves we’re finally being heard, and making kinks in Walmart’s armour.”
The decision would address charges filed one year ago in advance of Black Friday 2012, when Walmart workers went on strike over low wages and lousy working conditions.
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