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Campus Question – November 17, 2012

November 17, 2012

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Campus Question – November 17, 2012

Tonight’s question, greetings, and banter here. (More)

Next week workers, labor leaders, and progressive groups are organizing a strike and boycott of Walmart on the day after Thanksgiving. Internal documents show Walmart has engaged in systematic wage suppression that affects the entire retail industry, and has ruthlessly resisted workers’ attempts to organize. But Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, and now Walmart has filed a complaint against the organizers. Does this response show the organizing effort, which Walmart spokespersons have dismissed as trivial, is having an effect?

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7 Responses to “Campus Question – November 17, 2012”

  1. NCrissieB Says:

    All along, Walmart spokespersons have said the Black Friday strike/boycott was “trivial,” “a handful of our 1.4 million employees,” blah blah. Yet they’ve filed a labor complaint against that “trivial” “handful” and others helping them to organize. Hrmmm….

    You may have noticed that you can sign up to participate in the Black Friday protest here at BPI. I hope you’ll do so. We grassroots Democratic activists must stand in solidarity with hardworking American families, just as many of them stood in solidarity with us last Tuesday.

  2. addisnana Says:

    I find this curious. The UFCW is the group against which Walmart filed the complaint. OUR Walmart and supportive and ad hoc progressives are not part of the union.

    I can’t imagine that Walmart can stop social media for creating events not on the company’s property. Before Facebook and twitter, I could see Walmart being able to stop most attempts to organize.

    Stopping the retail spring will not be as easy for them.

    • NCrissieB Says:

      Walmart has no labor claim against OUR Walmart and the other groups. Walmart could, in theory, file a tort claim against those groups, but the organizers would have a strong First Amendment defense. If I had to guess, I think Walmart’s strategy here is to hope the complaint will force the union to pressure the organizers to back off. I don’t think that’s likely to work.

  3. Gardener Says:

    I’d hate to see those Waltons broke and living on the street………

  4. Jim W Says:

    Wal-Mart may be looking in the wrong place for help.

    WASHINGTON — 5-1-12 — Wal-Mart Stores Inc., headquartered in Bentonville, Ark., has agreed to pay $4,828,442 in back wages and damages to more than 4,500 employees nationwide following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime provisions. Additionally, Wal-Mart will pay $463,815 in civil money penalties.

    The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also are required to maintain accurate time and payroll records. The civil money penalties assessed stem from the repeat nature of the violations.