Black Friday Picket Lines At San Leandro Walmarts?

Stores on Hesperian Blvd. and Davis St. are expected to be part of a nationwide action by Our Walmart & the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). Not a strike but similar.


Black Friday bargain-hunters could face picket lines at two Walmart stores in San Leandro that are becoming focal points in a nationwide effort to unionize the company that Sam Walton started more than 50 years ago.

Walmart has never had unions. Its management has been the target of a gamut of complaints having to do with pay, benefits, hours and other workplace issues.

Some current Walmart employees, informally joined under the OUR Walmart banner, have been working with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union to organize a vote to determine whether or not employees wanted to unionize.

In October a handful of workers at the Walmart at the corner of Hesperian and Lewelling Boulevards took part in a nationwide walkout . It was a strike but that was a misnomer -- because the workers were not officially recognized as a union and the numbers involved were miniscule. 

Nevertheless, the "strike" attracted so much media attention that organizers threatened to hold similar actions on Black Friday.

As a prelude, on Wednesday, November 14, several dozen Walmart workers and supporters staged not a walkout but a walk-through the Hesperian Walmart, wearing green shirts and shouting slogans, according to a labor movement blog.

Both Walmarts -- the Hesperian store that has already seen two protests and the Davis Street store -- will probably see picket lines on Friday. Flyers circulating among activist groups are urging union supporters who don't work for the company to take part along with any Walmart employees who take part.

Walmart has asked the National Labor Relations Board to file an injunction against the actions, on the grounds that these picket liness are not part of a recognized labor action.

But an NLRB spokeswoman told Patch on Wednesday that the body would not have time to make a decision on that request before Friday.

A Walmart spokeswoman said the company doesn't think the protests will affect holiday shoppers.

"Our stores will be operating normally on Black Friday and our customers will see nothing unusual when they shop," Walmart spokeswoman Ashley Hardie told Patch. "These so called protests involve a handful of associates at a handful of stores. In fact most of the protesters don’t even work for Walmart. They are union organizers and union members."

Read more about the Walmart protests in San Leandro.

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Ernesto November 21, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I had already planned not to buy anything at Walmart, Macy's, etc., opting for spending my $$$ at locally owned smaller shops and chosing only Made in the USA products.
Ken Briggs November 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM
good luck at finding stuff made in the U S A . what is walmart going to do when picket lines are are the back doors so the truckers can not drop stuff off . walmart should pay a living wage and have more full time help . walmart should know that with all the part time help that the help can do what they want when they are off walmarts time clock .. Yes I would help out and cary a sign ,but right now I am laail up with a broken right heel and in a cast , I say go union but if walmart does not want to go union then they can close that store down for a year and start over , like that UHAUL does . at lease walmart is getting a hell of a lot of free ad space .
Ernesto November 23, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Ken, you can find goods made in the US online. Yes, it is difficult because we have shipped most of our manufacturing for everyday goods offshore, but we still make good quality items in the US.
Ernesto November 23, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Thanks to unions we have better worker safety, a 40-hour week, better retirement plans for workers, child labour laws, etc. etc. I support unions. The last thing we need is to let corporations dictate our labour laws. Both entities need to balance each other out.
Ken Briggs November 24, 2012 at 07:14 PM
walmart does not care , just look at all the free ad space they got . and they made more this year than last .


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