Union seeks injunction from labour board over Wal-Mart store closings

Injunction seeks to have laid off workers rehired

(Reuters) — A union representing Wal-Mart workers who lost their jobs when the retailer suddenly closed five stores last week said it would seek an injunction on Monday from the National Labor Relations Board to have them rehired.

Wal-Mart announced last week that it was closing five stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and California temporarily to fix plumbing issues. It said it would seek to reopen the stores, which employed about 2,200 people, as quickly as possible.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) said it believes the retailer sought to close the Pico Rivera store — one of the five locations — in the Los Angeles area in retaliation for active protesting by workers there in recent years seeking higher pay and benefits.

"City officials in Pico Rivera say that nothing has been brought to their attention and no permits at all have been sought for any work," the UFCW said in the claim to be filed to the NLRB.

"Walmart has targeted this store because the associates have been among the most active associates around the country to improve working conditions."

The injunction seeks to have all employees reinstated to their own store or transferred to another store without loss of pay.

Wal-Mart did not immediately have further comment on the injunction.

A group of Wal-Mart employees at the Pico Rivera store plan to hold a press conference later on Monday.

Wal-Mart recently announced plans to hike its minimum hourly wage to at least $9 an hour nationally as part of a $1 billion investment in better pay and benefits for its employees (all figures in U.S. dollars). That move sparked several other retailers to raise wages, although labour advocates have said they want more.

Latest stories