Apr 27, 2015
Walmart closed five of its stores for up to six months on April 13. Walmart gave 2,200 workers just a few hours notice that they were losing their jobs. Walmart’s excuse: these stores need “extensive repairs” for their “plumbing” problems. But Walmart later admitted that they have not sought any permits to perform plumbing work at those locations.
Its workers correctly stated that the company was retaliating against them because they were organizing for better pay and conditions, and joining a union. The Pico Rivera store in California, one of those shut, was at the center of worker action and had seen the first U.S. Walmart strike in 2012.
Walmart resorted to such retaliation tactics in the past many times to prevent its workers from unionizing. For example, Walmart closed a store in Quebec, Canada in 2005, seven months after workers voted to unionize for the first time in Northern America. The store was never reopened.
Walmart calls it “plumbing,” but it is a plain and simple lockout to prevent workers from organizing. It’s not Walmart’s pipes that are full of crap!