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Wal-Mart violated employee rights in 14 states

The National Labor Relations Board stated that Wal-Mart violated employee rights in California and 13 other states. The federal agency said that the charges against the U.S. retailer included unlawfully disciplining, threatening or firing employees for taking part in strikes and protests that are protected by law. The NLRB stated that unless the parties reached settlements, the agency was ready to issue complaints.

Before Black Friday 2012, Wal-Mart made every effort to stop employees from organizing strikes and protests by threatening retaliation if they did so. The retailer issued statements to workers at stores in Texas and California as well as through national news broadcasts. However, organizers are planning more activity for this year's Black Friday. This year, Wal-Mart plans to open its doors two hours earlier than its competitors on Thanksgiving Day.

The president of one labor union advocacy group stated that fighting for better pay, full-time work and ending illegal reprisal were issues that involved fairness to everyone, including consumers, families and the environment. He said that his organization, which boasts 12 million members, was prepared to fight for Wal-Mart workers in order to achieve justice.

Worker advocates hope to achieve equity for retail workers whose employers may threaten to fire or discipline them for taking part in legal strikes and protests. Federal law protects workers and their families, and by filing a complaint, the NLRB may be able to obtain some relief for Wal-Mart workers who have come under disciplinary action for standing up for their rights within the law.

Source: Yahoo News, "Wal-Mart violated employees' rights: government," Nov. 18, 2013

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