Wal-Mart Loses First Union Vote

Jun 19, 2003

By George Anderson

According to the Associated Press, Wal-Mart has been ordered by a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge to recognize a meat-cutters union voted on by associates at its Jacksonville, TX store in 2000.

Wal-Mart has closed all its meat-cutting departments in favor of case ready product.

The decision by Judge Keltner Locke concluded Wal-Mart should have bargained with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) in 2000 about the effects the implementation of the case-ready program would have on associates in the Jacksonville store.

Johnny Rodriguez, president, UFCW Local 540 said, “This is a historic decision — the first bargaining order issued against Wal-Mart in the United States. It is a victory for all Wal-Mart workers who are fighting for a voice at work.”

Wal-Mart intends to appeal the ruling. According to a company release. “Wal-Mart has consistently contended that the Union should never have been certified in Jacksonville because the election result was improperly influenced by Union misconduct and because the bargaining unit requested was improperly narrow.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on the
NLRB judge’s ruling concerning the Wal-Mart meat-cutters who voted in favor
of union representation in 2000?

There are competitors who probably would have been happy
to have the judge rule in Wal-Mart’s favor on this issue.

Wal-Mart’s fresh meat program is often cited as the weakest
link in it’s grocery operation. This is due, in part, to its reliance on case
ready product.
Anderson – Moderator

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