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The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., charging it violated employees’ rights as a result of activities surrounding worker protests in 13 states, the agency said Wednesday.
According to a statement issued by the Washington-based United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the complaint addresses charges filed one year ago in advance of Black Friday 2012, when Wal-Mart managers “escalated their efforts to threaten and discourage workers from going on legally protected strikes.”
The NLRB said its office of the general counsel informed Wal-Mart that complaints had been authorized in November 2013 but were not filed until now to allow time for settlement discussions.
“The discussions have not been successful, and a consolidated complaint has (been) issued regarding some of the alleged violations of federal law,” said the NLRB in its statement
Wal-Mart has until Jan. 28 to respond to the complaint, and “additional charges remain under investigation,” the NLRB said.
The labor board charged specifically that during two national television news broadcasts and in statements to employees at its California and Texas stores, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer unlawfully threatened employees with reprisal if they engaged in strikes and protests.
It also said Wal-Mart unlawfully threatened, disciplined or terminated employees for engaging in legally protected strikes and protests in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Washington.
In addition, it charged that in California, Florida and Texas, Wal-Mart unlawfully threatened, surveilled, disciplined and/or terminated employees in anticipation of, or in response to, employees’ other protected activities.
A Wal-Mart spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.