Friday, January 8, 2010

Wal-Mart Settles "Union Busting" Charges

Minnesota's "Finance and Commerce" business daily reports today that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ("Wal-Mart") has settled charges lodged by a St. Paul-area union last summer that the retail chain threatened to fire a worker at its Hastings, Minnesota store over his alleged "union" activity. Under the settlement agreement, Wal-Mart has agreed to prominently post notices inside the Hastings store stating that Wal-Mart will not frustrate or threaten to terminate workers for engaging in "union activities," including the right to form or join a labor group. Wal-Mart has also agreed not to solicit employee grievances as a way to discourage workers from exercising their union rights. According to the Finance and Commerce daily, the settlement is a "symbolic if not substantive" victory for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 789, which last July filed charges with the regional National Labor Relations Board while waging an organizing campaign at several Twin Cities area Wal-Mart stores. Under current labor law, the notice posting requirement is the maximum penalty for such activity.