Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) employees are unhappy with their working hours on some of the busiest holiday shopping days of the year, and some are threatening to strike.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) last Friday requested that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issue an injunction against protests planned outside Walmart stores on Black Friday – one of the busiest days of the year for holiday shopping.
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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), the countries’ largest employer with 4,000 US locations, does not recognise an official workers’ union and claims that the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) unions planned picketing at its stores is illegal.
However, labor advocates critical of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), say that the company does not pay employees enough.
The NRLB office, which has been investigating Walmart’s allegations since Monday, says its inquiry should be complete by Wednesday, though it is unlikely to issue a decision on the matter before Thursday. On Tuesday evening, the NLRB said the issue is “complex,” and that it cannot yet give a decision.
“The legal issues — including questions about what constitutes picketing and whether the activity was aimed at gaining recognition for the union — are complex,” the NLRB said.
“Also, there are many distinct factual circumstances at stores across the country to consider.”
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) isn’t the only retailing giant facing pressure from employees. Target workers are also attempting to take on the company over their ‘Black Thursday’ working hours. Although Target plans to open at 9:00pm on Thanksgiving, some employees have attempted to reverse the decision. One Target employee, C Renee, has started a petition on change.org called “Target: Take the high road and save Thanksgiving.”
The petition plans to get to 500,000 signatures by Thanksgiving, and currently stands at 370,000.
Up to 147 million people are expected to shop on this Black Friday Weekend – a decrease from the 152 million who shopped on last years’ Black Friday Weekend. Despite a decrease in the number of shoppers over the weekend, the National Retail Federation is predicting consumers will spend $586.1 billion on holiday shopping this year, an increase of 4.1 percent from last year.