Black Friday-Did Union Protests Affect Wal-mart Or Not? Evidence Says No.
If you watched the ‘news’, you might have thought it was pandemonium outside every Wal-mart across the U.S.But according to Wal-mart officials, the store chain collectively had it’s best Black Friday ever. Wal-mart says fewer than 50 known employees were actively known to have ‘walked off’ their job and participated in the union-organized activities.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union had spent considerable amounts of money and even arraigned to have union employees show and picket various Wal-Mart locations. As we had reported last week, the UFCW was allegedly attempting to use it’s power to coerce the retail giant into allowing union votes at it’s stores.
Even if the UCFW is not able to convince Wal-mart to allow at least 51% of it’s workers to unionize (which would make the union official) critics say they are attempting to influence conditions at the stores. While OUR Walmart (the union backed group that reportedly represents disgruntled employees) claims some sort of protest took place at upwards of 1,000 stores, Wal-mart officials say that number was greatly exaggerated.
Various media reports indicate the number of stores that saw any form of UCFW organized protests was probably fewer than 5% of that number. Even the Huffington Post reported the number of stores that had protests was less than 100, and shoppers largely ignored them. Wal-mart says they had record profits, although the exact figures have not been released yet.
OUR Walmart has been actively attacking the retail giant since September. The group (and the UFCW) have been demanding ‘better working conditions’ for employees, less schedule shifting, and they are pushing Wal-mart to pay all it’s workers an average of at least $13.00 an hour. To receive benefits, current Wal-mart employees must work at least 30 hours a week, and be paid $12.57.