Walmart Workers Launch Second Legal Action Against the Company

WM Pico UFCWOn September 10, Walmart workers, with the help of the UFCW, Making Change at Walmart, and OUR Walmart, announced at a press conference that they had filed a second charge against Walmart with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding the retaliatory closing of the Pico Rivera, Calif., Walmart store. In the charge, workers allege that they were discriminated against in the transfer process due to their participation in protests standing up for better wages, hours and work conditions.

“When Walmart closed our store, I knew it was because we had been leading the nationwide movement for $15 an hour and access to full-time, consistent hours,” said Jenny Mills, a nine-year Walmart worker, who was listed on the charge. “Seeing who they did and did not transfer just reaffirmed that. Walmart intentionally refused to transfer those of us who have been the most vocal in standing up for fair wages and hours. That’s simply not just a coincidence.”

The workers were joined at the conference by community leaders, clergy and city residents calling for the reinstatement of all 530 laid off Pico Rivera Walmart workers. Despite the fact that there are 45 Walmart stores within 20 miles of the closed Pico Rivera store, Walmart has failed to transfer the most vocal workers in the fight for $15 an hour and access to consistent, full-time hours since the closure back in April.

The workers’ second charge comes as the first charge, alleging that Walmart closed five stores nationwide as an act of retaliation, is under investigation by the NLRB. On April 13th, the company abruptly closed stores with just hours’ notice, including the Pico Rivera Walmart store, which was among the most vocal and symbolically important stores in the movement for better wages and hours.

WM PR Worker SignsThe store has been a hotbed for worker activism. A powerful group of primarily Latina women led the first Walmart strikes there prior to Black Friday in 2012. They held a sit-down strike and civil disobedience there last fall and have also been vocal in the fight for $15 an hour and access to full-time, consistent schedules. Based on the initial charge on April 20th, the NLRB has compelled Walmart to provide evidence that its store closings were actually related to “plumbing problems” as it initially claimed. Workers are hopeful that the initial charge will result in their reinstatement with back pay under what labor law refers to as a “10j injunction” while the Board continues to pursue the charge.

“Punishing workers by denying them a livelihood in this fashion isn’t only legally wrong; it’s morally wrong,” said Rabbi Jonathan Klein, executive director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. “Brave workers entitled to a better life for their families now face spirit- and body-crushing stress because of Walmart’s unconscionable choice. We cannot let such injustices prevail. We must hear the voices of those fighting for what is right.”

Petition Calls on FTC to Investigate Walmart Commercial

raise in payEarlier this year, Walmart released a commercial highlighting Walmart’s commitment to invest “over $1 billion this year in higher wages, education, and training.”

The National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau (NAD) had questions about whether that commercial unfairly implies that Walmart is raising workers’ wages enough so that they can support themselves and their families. The NAD wanted to conduct a review of the claims, but Walmart declined to participate so now the NAD is asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to step in.

When Walmart announced it would raise entry level wages to $9 an hour this year and that all associates would earn at least $10 an hour next year, it was a step in the right direction. But it is not accurate to suggest that this increase makes it possible for workers to support their families, especially since so many workers struggle to get full-time, consistent hours.

With $16 billion in profits and $150 billion in wealth for the owners, Walmart can afford to do more. And until they do, the FTC should not allow Walmart to make these claims in its commercials.

Click here to share the petition and sign your name and tell the FTC to investigate Walmart’s “Raise in Pay” commercial today.

President Perrone Speaks at Re-Introduction of the Schedules That Work Act

DSC_0046Washington, D.C. — Today, Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the largest private sector union in the nation, attended and spoke at the re-introduction of the Schedules That Work Act.

In his remarks, Perrone described how unfair work schedules put people at a disadvantage.

“Every day, in the interest of maximizing their bottom lines, companies use erratic and last minute scheduling to force people to work harder and longer and be unaware of their shift until the last moment,” Perrone said. “The impact of this is significant. American workers often have no choice but to be a prisoner to their job and this makes it impossible for men and women to adequately plan their lives and prepare for their futures. The Schedules That Work Act takes a meaningful step towards ensuring better work schedules and with it, better lives for workers and their families.”

For proof that providing workers with stable schedules makes a difference, Perrone was joined at the event by UFCW Local 400 member Paul Rickey.

“Thanks to a strong collective bargaining contract, throughout the years Paul has been able to both advance his career and be there for his family when they needed him most,” Perrone remarked. “The Schedules That Work Act will bring that same benefit to all hard working men and women across America, and I believe it should be a priority for this Congress and our President.”



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We are 1.3 million families standing together to build an economy that every hard-working family deserves.    @UFCW