Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Unionize Wal-Mart!

from The Wall Street Journal
In a move that has been unsuccessful elsewhere in the U.S., 17 workers at a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. automotive-service department have taken the first step to unionize at the world's largest retailer. The National Labor Relations Board planned a hearing tomorrow to consider the workers' request to be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7. Union officials argue the workers in the Wal-Mart Tire & Lube Express are separate from the store and eligible for independent union representation. Wal-Mart officials disagree. "With approximately 400 associates in that particular facility, we feel that more than 17 associates should have a say on such an important matter," said Christi Gallagher, a spokeswoman for the Bentonville, Ark., company. Efforts to unionize Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. have failed, while in Canada, a government agency this year certified workers at a Quebec store as a union and told the two sides to negotiate. Wal-Mart has said it may have to close that store.

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