Today’s Washington Examiner is reporting that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has approved the practice of unions paying protesters to protest. The case involved union members being paid to protest against WalMart.
The article reports:
In a Nov. 15 memorandum from the NLRB’s general counsel office regarding the so-called “Black Friday” protests staged by United Food and Commercial Workers against the nonunion retailer last year, the NLRB lawyers determined that the UFCW’s offer of $50 gift cards to anyone who showed up to protest “was a non-excessive strike benefit.”
The lawyers said there was “no evidence to indicate that the gift card was meant to buy support for OUR Walmart” since the card was available not just to the retailer’s employees but to anyone who showed up at the unions’ protests.
The article incorrectly stated that OUR Walmart’s $50 gift cards were available to “to anyone who showed up to protest” implying that non-Walmart employees could get them. The NLRB document only states that the cards were available to “anyone who struck, not just members of OUR Walmart” indicating they were limited to Walmart employees.
The article also points out that very few of the people protesting WalMart actually work for WalMart. There is another interesting aspect of this story. Most people who shop at WalMart shop there because of the low prices. One of the reasons for those low prices is the fact that it is a non-union shop and the company does not have to negotiate with unions, cater to unions, and sometimes sacrifice good business practices to appease union leaders. Many union members are not particularly wealthy, and by unionizing WalMart, they will lose a good source of inexpensive food and other goods. If the union members support the unionization of WalMart, they are also supporting something that will make their own lives more difficult.