The Nation (@thenation) November 16, 2012
With today’s news that the showdown between the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union and Hostess will lead to a liquidation of the company, many are anxiously wondering which business might be the next domino to fall. Could it be Walmart?
Probably not. But rumors of a Black Friday strike by employees of the world’s largest retailer are centering around locations in and around Chicago, Miami, Milwaukee and Washington, D.C. Unemployment was a cornerstone of both presidential campaigns, but it seems there are fates worse than having no job, and one of those is working for Walmart.
Walmart is preparing for the possibility. According to Reuters, the retailer has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union that would preclude picket lines at stores.
Activities over the past year or longer “have caused disruptions to Walmart’s business, resulted in misinformation being shared publicly about our company, and created an uncomfortable environment and undue stress on Walmart’s customers, including families with children,” Walmart outside counsel Steven Wheeless said in a letter sent on Friday to Deborah Gaydos, assistant general counsel of the UFCW.
The usual suspects are lining up to lend their support, including other national unions, Occupy Wall Street and progressive groups.
Perhaps it’s the shock of the Hostess liquidation settling in, or simply a matter of timing, as millions find themselves entering yet another holiday season without employment. While some were hoping to snatch up bargains on Black Friday, others think a strike might lead to some job openings.
Welcome to the 2012 holiday season.