Why Unions are Vital Even When No Imminent Danger

Posted By Thomas F. Martin, PLC || 13-Jun-2013

After such documentaries as, “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price”, it should come as no surprise to Americans that Wal-Mart has continued such ridiculous practices. The unfortunate legal struggles of Wal-Mart employees are constantly in the media and on the news. The pending lawsuit to allow Wal-Mart employees to unionize has been dragging on since the uncovering of this injustice in the documentary film. The film premiered in 2005, and Wal-Mart employees are still attempting to formalize a union.

Unions are extremely important and beneficial for people like the Wal-Mart employees. They provide the employees:

  • The rights to fight for fair employment practices.
  • The solitary employee a much stronger, and influential, voice.

Unions are commonplace in industries that may require unsafe or dangerous work conditions; in these cases, unions go to substantial lengths to protect employees in the event of work injury or a workplace accident.

But unions are also vital to employees of large private or government organzations who are committed to their jobs and employer, but are not provided with basic benefits and opportunities. Unfortunately, the absence of basic worker benefits and opportunities is becoming all too common in today’s profit driven and cost avoidance society.

According to the Cornell Chronical (April 15, 2013), workers at Wal-Mart are still struggling:

“Employees at a warehouse that supplied Walmart went on strike due to “horrible working conditions,” said O’Neill. “They were working in containments at up to 120 degrees with no cold water to drink, and they weren’t getting bathroom breaks.” At first Walmart refused to take responsibility since it did not directly employ the workers. Eventually, though, “Walmart was forced to take responsibility by the state of California” after the union intervened, said O’Neill.

The UFCW has tried to get workers to unionize, but the Walton family, owners of Walmart, has historically been anti-union. Thus it has been difficult reaching workers who often fear retaliation from management. However, Walmart is not the only corporation to take such a strong opposing view of unions.

“We had one worker that was trying to get something going in San Diego,” said O’Neill, and in an example “of corporate America and their overreaction,” the company had a law firm hold meetings in their stores in California and Nevada, “just because one worker said something about forming a union.””

To view full article, please visit: http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/04/labor-union-leader-targets-walmart-worker-abuse.

If you, or someone you know, has been impacted by mistreatment, or not being able to unionize, please contact the office of Thomas F. Martin PLC immediately by completing a free Case Evaluation form, or by calling (714) 594-5389.

Categories: Workers Compensation
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