Today, the National Labor Relations Board released a much-awaited response to Wal-Mart's allegations of illegal picketing by the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union. The NLRB dismissed the charges on the condition that UFCW refrain from picketing Wal-Mart for 60 days and issue a statement that it is not seeking to unionize Wal-Mart workers.Wal-Mart filed the charges in November, just one week before a planned Black Friday strike by UFCW affiliate OUR Walmart. The retailer argued that the pickets were illegal attempts to win union recognition. U.S. labor law highly restricts protests designed to pressure companies to bargain with unions, while protests over employer actions have more legal protections. The UFCW maintained that it was not demanding union recognition but supporting workers’ rights to protest illegal retaliation by Wal-Mart.Both sides of the debate claimed the NLRB decision as a victory, reports Josh Eidelson at The Nation.
Camille Beredjick is a student of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a Spring 2013 ITT intern.