Friday, January 14, 2005

Wal-Mart Workers to Vote for Union.

Workers in the Tire & Lube Express department of a New Castle, Pennsylvania Wal-Mart are getting to vote on whether or not they want union representation. After nearly 5 years of challenges by Wal-Mart, the NLRB has ruled that the workers can vote as a separate group, a group not associated with clerks and cashiers in the retail section.

This ruling is good news for workers in Pennsylvania, as well as, the same department in Loveland, Colorado who recently filed for union representation. The Loveland workers are now suffering from the same illegal acts, by Wal-Mart, as their Pennsylvania counterparts had endured. Wal-Mart officials have no regard for labor law and, at times, it becomes to much to bear for workers who ultimately quit or side with the company. Ultimately, Wal-Mart will lose the case and all affected employees can get back pay and their jobs reinstated if, they have been wronfully terminated or quit under duress.

A problem exists for these employees, though. Wal-Mart, when faced with organized workers, will usually close a department that organizes with a union. When meatcutters in Jacksonville, Texas voted for union representation Wal-Mart suddenly announced it would change to pre-packaged, case ready meat in all of it's stores. All these employees had an offer by Wal-Mart to change to different positions but, they worried about changes in pay scales and working hours. All these shenanigans by Wal-Mart, after purchasing thousands of dollars worth of meat-cutting equipment, were actually an anti-union move.

What exists for unions and Wal-Mart's opposition is to organize entire stores, in order, to shut them down. This tactic will eventually succeed in this sagging economy and, workers will turn to unions as a means of protection on the job and for benefits that other retail stores such as Costco already offer employees. Another positive point of Wal-Mart closures is the increase in small business, that previously were affected by this corporation, a growth in the tax base of the community along with the reduction in tax subsidies that come with this big box retailer.


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