Wal- Mart likes to say it isn’t “anti-union”, its just “non-union.” Several communities in Canada recently succeeded in unionizing their Wal-Mart stores, and now workers in the tire and lube section of the Loveland, Colorado store have been give a green light by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a vote on unionization. Wal-Mart will appeal the NLRB ruling, but the vote is still expected to be held sometime in February. “Wal-Mart strongly disagrees with the decision,” spokeswoman Christi Gallagher told the Denver Post. “With approximately 400 associates in the building, we feel that more than a handful of associates should be able to have a say on such an important matter.” Wal-Mart takes issue with the Tire & Lube section of its store being considered a potential bargaining unit. There are 17 workers in that department, and 9 of them want a unionization vote. The NLRB rejected Wal-Mart’s arguments, and ruled that the T&L department was separate enough from the rest of the store that its workers could independently seek union representation. The NLRB also ruled that the T&L department manager could be included in the bargaining unit. Union elections have occurred before in American Wal-Marts, as in the Texas meatcutters case. But Wal-Mart cut out meat cutters after that vote, opting for pre-packaged meat. Ironically, Wal-Mart is fighting U.S. unions, but has agreed to unions in Communist China. The United Food and Commercial Workers continues its aggressive campaign to unionize Wal-Mart, and is reportedly talking to the retailer’s workers in several other Colorado communities.
For earlier stories on this topic, search Newsflash by “union.”