Mar 21 2013
The National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint against four companies involved in staffing and managing Walmart’s largest distribution center in the United States. The NLRB complaint—similar to an indictment—alleges that the companies repeatedly threatened and punished warehouse workers for labor organizing, including by firing activists involved in a September strike that helped to inspire November’s Black Friday retail walkout.
“They had targeted the organizers ever since we got back to the warehouse,” Philip Bailey, one of the fired workers, told The Nation Monday.
The Labor Board complaint, issued February 28, alleges that in order to discourage the Elwood, Illinois, warehouse workers from organizing, managers from the four companies—Roadlink Workforce Solutions, Skyward Employment Services, Select Remedy and Schneider Logistics—repeatedly broke the law. This included illegally threatening workers with firing or arrest; punishing employees by cancelling their breaks and increasing their workload; making workers believe they were under surveillance; and terminating six activist workers on November 10.
Leah Fried, a spokesperson for the union-backed group Warehouse Workers for Justice, said Wednesday that the NLRB had also found merit in an additional round of charges, alleging that the Walmart sub-contractor Roadlink illegally fired three more workers after they delivered a petition to management on November 17. (Roadlink and the NLRB did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Nation.)