November 18, 2013

Labor Rights Expert Reacts to NLRB Ruling Against Walmart

Decision Is Important Step in Stopping Abuse and Retaliation of Walmart Employees

Ori Korin


Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel issued a decision to prosecute Walmart for alleged widespread labor law violations, including threats made by managers against the company’s employees, as well as illegal firings and disciplinary actions involving more than 117 workers, including those who went on strike last June.

Sarita Gupta, Executive Director of Jobs with Justice and American Rights at Work issued the following statement in response to the NLRB’s decision:

“The Labor Board took a rare step today to pursue a nationwide case against Walmart. The Board’s decision to prosecute confirms that the law is catching up to the world’s largest retailer, and underscores what Walmart associates have long known: the company is illegally trying to silence employees who speak out for better jobs.

“There are reports of Walmart’s shelves going un-stocked, board members resigning, and a massive public relations campaign to repair the company’s image. But the chinks in Walmart’s armor are mounting, and the message is clear: there’s a real cost to low prices, and workers are paying the consequences.

“Americans believe that we have the responsibility – and the right – to speak out against corporate abuses of workers. Customers, clergy and community members from across the country are standing with Walmart workers bravely calling for better jobs and a stronger economy for all of us. As the peak retail season approaches, we’re proud to stand with the working people who are asking Walmart to do right by its employees.”

# # #

Over the course of the past two years, as documented in Jobs with Justice and American Rights at Work’s May 2013 report, Walmart associates who have joined OUR Walmart, or otherwise acted collectively to address concerns about working conditions, report being targeted by management with harassment, threats, changes to their jobs and working conditions, and retaliatory discipline, including termination. By last spring, OUR Walmart had received more than 150 incident reports where workers allege their rights were violated—primarily as a result of 2012 Black Friday strikes and related job actions.