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Merit found in employees' complaints against Wal-Mart

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 19th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer's recipe for success is generally low wage for employees. Now, the National Labor relations Board says that they have found merit in some disgruntled Wal-Mart employees' against the company. This comes as at an inopportune time, on the eve of "Black Friday," the Friday after Thanksgiving that is known for sales in electronics.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Board spokesman Gregory King says the organization is charged with protecting employee rights. King says the board "found merit in some of the charges that have been brought to us but not in others."

Wal-Mart unlawfully threatened employees with retaliation, such as termination and surveillance for participating in demonstrations at stores in the states of California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Washington.

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Employees faced pressure, discipline or termination "in anticipation of or in response to employees' other protected concerted activities," in the states of California, Florida, Missouri and Texas.

Wal-Mart stores in Illinois and Texas didn't interfere with employees' right to strike by ordering them off Wal-Mart property. The board said that California and Washington stores "did not unlawfully change work schedules, disparately apply their policies or otherwise coerce employees in retaliation for their exercise of statutory rights."

Wal-Mart faces legal action if it cannot settle with employees in cases in which the board's investigation sided with the employees, King said The board "has authorized complaints that will be issued if a settlement (between Wal-Mart and employees) can't be reached within the next week or so.

"My understanding is that Wal-Mart's counsel has been informed of the (NLRB's) decision. They asked for an opportunity to speak to their client," King adds. "We are anticipating that certainly within a week or two, there will be settlement discussions or we will file a complaint." 

These allegations are being taken very, very seriously - If Wal-Mart does not settle in the next two weeks, it faces not only legal action but also financial ramifications related to wrongful terminations.

Wal-Mart is ready to face these charges. "We're going to defend our company. We believe our actions did not violate the law," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan says. "This is just a procedural step, and we will continue to 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," she said, using the company's term for Wal-Mart staff.

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