Union agrees to end Wal-Mart protests

Anne D’Innocenzio / The Associated Press /


Labor groups say they will end their picketing at Wal-Mart stores for at least 60 days as part of a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board. But they vowed they will continue to press the world’s largest retailer to better overall working conditions, including wages.

The agreement, announced by the labor board Thursday, comes after the discounter filed a complaint on Nov. 20 with the board against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. It said that demonstrations at the stores organized by union-backed OUR Walmart that culminated on the day after Thanksgiving threatened to disrupt its business and intimidate customers and other store workers.

OUR Walmart is made up of former and current Wal-Mart workers.

Meanwhile, OUR Walmart filed its own charge with the labor board. It cited attempts by Wal-Mart to deter workers from participating in what the group called legally protected walkouts.

At issue were what constitutes picketing and whether the activity was aimed at gaining recognition for the union. Wal-Mart contended that such demonstrations violated labor laws because it claimed the “picketing” lasted more than 30 days and had the intent of unionizing its members.