Wal-Mart asked the National Labor Relations Board to halt any protests by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union tryng to disrupt its business this Black Friday week.
"We are taking this action now because we cannot allow the UFCW to continue to intentionally seek to create an environment that could directly and adversely impact our customers and associates," said Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar told Reuters. "If they do, they will be held accountable."
The union is undeterred. "Walmart is grasping at straws," said Union Communications Director Jill Cashen to Reuters. "There's nothing in the law that gives an employer the right to silence workers and citizens."
Protests, rallies and even flash mobs have been staged at Wal-marts across the country.
Demanding better pay and benefits, a group called OUR Walmart group, comprised of current and former Walmart employees, are mounting 1,000 protests online and outside stores up to and including Black Friday, reported MSN.com
OUR Walmart — which stands for Organization United for Respect at Walmart — said this week’s actions were aimed at protesting what it asserts are unfair labor practices at Wal-Mart, specifically stores retaliating against workers for speaking out about wages or working conditions, reported the New York Times.
"We are prepared to and will take all appropriate legal actions to enforce our property rights, protect our business, and ensure the safety of our customers and associates, on Black Friday and in the future," states Arkansas-based Wal-mart in a letter.
Wal-Mart has 1.4 million workers, including those at its Route 9 location in Framingham.
For years, the United Food & Commercial Workers union has tried and failed to organize Wal-Mart workers. In recent months, the union has adopted a new tactic: backing two groups, OUR Walmart and Making Change at Walmart, and waging a media campaign and mounting protests comprised of activists and Wal- Mart workers at stores and warehouses around the U.S., reported MSN.com.