WASHINGTON Jan 15 The U.S. National Labor
Relations Board (NLRB) on Wednesday
issued a complaint against Wal-Mart Inc, alleging the
world's largest retailer violated labor laws in 14 states by
taking action against striking workers.
A complaint issued by the NLRB's general counsel's office
said Wal-Mart representatives appeared on national news
broadcasts and threatened to retaliate against workers if they
went on strike. It also alleged they disciplined and fired
workers for engaging in legally protected protest activity.
More than 60 Wal-Mart supervisors and one corporate officer
are named in the filing.
"We believe that our actions were valid. We take our
obligations very seriously. We look forward to sharing our side
of the facts in these cases with a judge," said Brooke Buchanan,
a spokeswoman for the world's largest retailer.
The NLRB, the federal agency that oversees union elections
and polices unfair labor practices, investigates 20,000 to
30,000 allegations of National Labor Relations Act violations
made annually by employees, unions and employers. More than half
are withdrawn or dismissed.
In the Wal-Mart case, a preliminary investigation by the
NLRB revealed that charges against the retailer likely had
merit. Settlement negotiations were unsuccessful, so one of the
board's 26 regional directors issued a complaint detailing the
The next step is for an NLRB administrative law judge to
oversee a trial to determine whether Wal-Mart broke the law. The
judge's findings will then be adopted or rejected by the