Federal labor officials from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will allow some Walmart workers to go on strike on Black Friday. The Board will not decide by Thursday whether to issue an injunction to stop the union-backed group, OUR Walmart, from organizing workers to walk off their jobs.
OUR Walmart is backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, but is not affiliated with Walmart, although some Walmart employees pay $5 a month to the group. Because Walmart does not have unions and attempts in the past to organize its workers have failed, the group has tried to disrupt Walmarts in recent months by organizing flash mobs and demonstrations at the stores, which they say will culminate on Black Friday, the busiest retail shopping day of the year.
Walmart last filed a complaint and charges last week with the NLRB, accusing OUR Walmart from violating the National Labor Relations Act by picketing for more than 30 days without “the filing of a representation petition.”
Nancy Cleeland, a spokeswoman at the NLRB, said on Monday that the legal issues before it — “including questions about what constitutes picketing and whether the activity was aimed at gaining recognition for the union” — are “complex.”
In October, OUR Walmart encouraged over 90 workers to walk out before WAL-Mart’s annual investor meeting. Last week, the group encouraged workers to walk off their jobs at Walmarts in Dallas, Oakland, Calif., and Seattle. According to the UCFW, workers on Monday and Tuesday also went on strike at selected Walmarts.