You may have heard about the “massive” protests Walmart workers have in store for Black Friday this year. The only problem with this story is that workers aren’t really the ones behind these efforts. In reality, Big Labor, liberal groups and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are colluding to stage protests with the explicit purpose of targeting and undermining the nation’s largest employer.

According to audio recordings of a private planning session—which included members from liberal group Retail Action Project, Walmart-Free NYC, Jobs with Justice and Occupy Wall Street working group 99 Pickets, among others—these protests are not only being planned and orchestrated by Big Labor, but are also receiving support from the NLRB and, in some cases, local law enforcement.

One account reveals that these so-called “activists plan to have some participants get arrested in a ‘civil disobedience’ action coordinated with local police ahead of the event,” most likely to ensure wider media coverage and an extra measure of public sympathy. While some protesters may deliberately try to get arrested, others will be engaging in more “traditional” protest measures in and outside of the 2,000 Walmart locations being targeted this Black Friday.

Adding fuel to the fire, the NLRB announced this week that it is issuing complaints against Walmart in response to allegations of retaliation against workers who protested at a recent shareholders meeting. Is there any indication that Walmart took action against these workers?  No. Do things like facts and proof matter to union-backed worker centers like OUR Walmart (Organization United for Respect at Walmart) or their friends in government with taxpayer funded jobs?  Also, a resounding no.

In fact, the NLRB decision was made public during a media call held by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and OUR Walmart hours before the official NLRB announcement. That Trumka and OUR Walmart were seemingly in on the NLRB’s decision speaks volumes about the extent to which all three parties are in collusion. Government and Big Labor working hand-in-hand to unleash a massive smear campaign against the nation’s largest retailer?  Happy Holidays, indeed.

While Walmart protest organizers would love to be seen as a grassroots movement of Walmart employees, the truth is the entire thing is being staged by OUR Walmart, an affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) and other Big Labor front groups. And while the hype has been heavy in the media, Justin Wilson, managing director of the pro-business Center for Union Facts says much of this is being overplayed.

According to The Daily Caller, “if organizers expect massive strikes and picket lines to materialize next Friday — turning away shoppers and giving Wal-Mart a black eye — Wilson believes they’ll be disappointed. ‘The idea that there’s this mass uprising of Wal-Mart employees trying to unionize the stores when they can’t get more than 500 of them to actually turn out is ridiculous — just an absolute joke,’ he concluded.” 

As you do your Black Friday shopping this year, keep in mind these Walmart protests are nothing more than the overblown theatrics of Big Labor.  Let’s make sure they don’t have an audience this year.

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AZ Daily Sun--Coconino Voices: PRO Act legislation would hurt local businesses

— 05.13.2021 —
By: Julie Pastrik Arizona businesses and workers have had an incredibly challenging year given the economic slowdown that followed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. However, local businesses and industries across the state are resilient and on the road to a strong recovery that will mean more jobs for Arizona workers and increased economic development to strengthen our communities. That is, as long as Congress does not move forward with potentially devastating legislation that would hurt local employers and employees alike while impeding our state’s economic recovery. Unfortunately, some members of Congress seem determined to do just that by pushing through the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. As harmless as the name may sound, the PRO Act would have serious repercussions for local businesses, particularly smaller ones, while undermining long-standing rights for employees and threatening the growing gig economy that has helped provide much-needed income for so many during this time. Arizona is fortunate to have leaders like Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, who have both refrained from joining the vast majority of their Democratic colleagues in cosponsoring the PRO Act. In a slap in the face to Arizona workers, the PRO Act removes one of the most fundamental rights a worker has when it comes to voting in elections to determine whether to unionize: the secret ballot. Instead, workers could be forced to sign union authorization cards in front of other employees, their employer, or union organizers. This bill would also destroy workers’ right to privacy by allowing unions access to personal information, including their home address and personal phone number. If that doesn’t open the door to union intimidation and harassment, I don’t know what does. As if that was not bad enough, the PRO Act would create major new challenges for Arizona businesses, making it harder for them to create jobs, expand in their communities, and even keep their doors open. It would redefine what it means to be a “joint employer” under national labor law, greatly complicating existing relationships between franchisors and franchisees as well as between business owners, contractors, subcontractors, and vendors and suppliers. At the same time, it would interfere with attorney-client confidentiality and make it much more difficult for small businesses to secure a legal advice on labor issues. Particularly harmful during these times, the PRO Act would apply a failed policy from California to national labor law by using the “ABC” test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee. This makes it much harder to qualify as an independent contractor, threatening the freedom and flexibility that tens of thousands of Arizonans find in independent contracting and gig economy work. Ultimately, the PRO Act is bad public policy that only works for union leaders to inflate their falling ranks while threatening workers’ rights, undermining small businesses, and jeopardizing a growing part of our economy. This is not a good solution for Arizona, and Senators Sinema and Kelly should stay firm and not cosponsor this misguided legislation.
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