Walmart workers plan to go on a nationwide strike at 1,000 Walmart stores on 2012 Black Friday, which is the biggest shopping day of the year protesting the early opening hours for sales, after the company accused the workers of illegal picketing last Friday, and registered a rare complaint at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) asking to issue an injunction to stop the Walmart workers strike.
The delay in NLRB’s decisions allows the strikes to continue at least until Friday morning. After the NLRB issued its non-decision, OUR Walmart filed a counter charge with the NRLB. The workers, who are backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, alleged that Wal-Mart management threatened workers to attempt to deter them from the strike.
Walmart complained to the NLRB that the 2012 Black Friday walk-out was a pretense for a longer campaign by the United Food and Commercial Workers to unionise the Wal-Mart employees. Under the National Labor Relations Act, a union seeking recognition can picket for a maximum of 30 days. After that, it must end the picketing and take a formal unionisation vote, and according to the company, Walmart workers strike has gone beyond 30 days.
Meanwhile, Walmart workers struggle to fulfill basic needs. One such case is of Walmart electronics associate Barbara Collins, who says, “I’m struggling, needing help from my parents or the community. I’m on food stamps.”
Collins says that she is not only unhappy with Walmart starting the Thanksgiving sale at 8 pm, but also, with the way the retailer is stopping the full-time workers from unionising by applying methods such as cutting shifts. “I’ve never had my hours cut back this bad before. Management says it’s a glitch in the system and I’m just not buying the stories anymore”, she says, clearly frustrated with the happenings.