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Federal Judge Says Walmart Must Reinstate And Pay Workers Fired For Striking

An administrative law judge with the Labor Relations Board has ordered Walmart to reinstate 16 workers the judge says were unlawfully fired for going on strike against the retailer.

Walmart was also ordered to pay those who were fired back pay and expunge the disciplinary records of 38 other workers who were punished for being part of the strike.

The group OUR Walmart filed a complaint against the world’s largest retailer in 2013 after workers who participated in strikes centered around Wal-Mart’s annual shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Ark., were fired when they called for an annual salary of $25,000 for employees.

Judge Geoffrey Carter ruled that workers from 26 Walmart stores across the United States were illegally punished merely because they took part in the protests.

Additionally, Judge Carter ordered that managers at the stores affected must hold staff meetings and  workers must be informed of their right to strike. He also ruled that store managers must read from a script which says they promise not to threaten or discipline workers for exercising their rights to protest or strike.

Walmart argued that the strikes were hit-and-run, intermittent work stoppages and therefore not protected under federal labor law. The company said it plans to appeal the judge’s ruling to the full NLRB. Company spokesman Kory Lundberg said Wal-Mart “will pursue all of our options to defend the company because we believe our actions were legal and justified.”

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.