Reuters: Unions file new Wal-Mart labor complaint related to store closure

Ian Pajer-Rogers |

From Reuters:

by Nathan Layne

Unions filed a second labor board complaint against Wal-Mart Stores Inc related to its temporary closure of a California store, claiming the retailer discriminated against activist workers by not transferring them to nearby stores.

The retailer says the closure of the California store - and four others at the center of the first complaint - was justified by the need for extensive repairs. It says it has offered 75 percent of employees who sought a transfer an opportunity to do so.

The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the AFL-CIO and an organization of Wal-Mart workers submitted the latest complaint to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the UFCW said.

The ongoing dispute dates back to April, when Wal-Mart closed five stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and California citing the need for extensive plumbing and other repairs, affecting some 2,200 workers.

In its original complaint, the unions accused Wal-Mart of using the repairs as an excuse to close a store in Pico Rivera, California, in retaliation against workers there who have been active in attempts to organize for better pay and benefits. The other four stores were included as cover, they claimed.

In the second complaint, the unions claim that Wal-Mart had not offered to transfer the most vocal of the workers at the Pico Rivera store, a retaliation that it says is in violation of U.S. labor law.

Read the full article from Reuters.