The National Labor Relations Board, an independent federal agency tasked with policing bad behavior by employers, is targeting Wal-Mart Stores Inc. over the retail behemoth’s alleged crackdown on its protesting workers.
The NLRB filed a formal complaint Wednesday against the Bentonville, Ark. chain, alleging that the company violated the rights of more than 60 employees rallying over workplace conditions in 14 states — including California.
Some experts said the NLRB may be trying to establish itself as a force to be feared, and not just in the unionized workplaces that have traditionally been its stomping grounds. Targeting a company as massive as Wal-Mart, with 1.3 million employees, may be a way to say there’s a new sheriff in town.
“The NLRB is being a little more assertive at protecting the collective rights of workers in non-union settings, something they haven’t traditionally done in their history,” said Richard W. Hurd, a labor studies professor at Cornell University. “They’re trying to carve out a little more territory in a measured, reasonable way — not as a politically motivated stunt.”
Related: Criticism of Walmart
Wal Mart Human rights violations? Some think so. Human Rights Watch for example