Retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has filed an unfair labor practices complaint against a union that the company says has been illegally supporting worker rallies at the company’s stores for the past six months. The union, known as OUR Walmart, is supported by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which is the labor group targeted by the Walmart filing.
According to a report at The Wall Street Journal, the company says that OUR Walmart is seeking recognition from Walmart and, by law, may only demonstrate and protest for 30 days before collecting signatures to hold an employee vote. A company spokesman is cited as saying:
We cannot allow the UFCW to continue to intentionally seek to create an environment that could directly and adversely impact our customers and associates.
For its part, the UFCW says the protests are not supporting unionization but calling attention to working conditions at Walmart, which the union accuses of retaliating against workers who complain about pay and other conditions at the stores.
OUR Walmart has called for walkouts at Walmart stores on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year. Walmart has about 1.4 million U.S. employees at more than 4,500 locations. Union protests so far have involved a few hundred workers at fewer than 50 stores.