Montana News

Nov 21, 2012 11:52 AM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News

Walmart "strikes" spread to MT

MISSOULA - A nationwide movement targeting Walmart stores for what critics call "unfair labor practices" has spread to Montana, although organized picketing appears limited to a single store.

Walmart critics are claiming the massive chain doesn't pay its workers enough, and restricts part-time workers from more hours to help their income.

The protests have already led to some initial picketing outside Walmart stores in other parts of the country, with additional picketing planned during "Black Friday" shopping.

According to the Corporate Action Network website, one walkout has been scheduled at a Montana Walmart. The site shows "strikers" will be gathering in front of the Walmart Supercenter on North 7th in Bozeman Thanksgiving night at 8 p.m. That's right when Walmart stores are set to open for "Black Friday" shoppers.

However, as of Wednesday morning the Bozeman picketing is the only Montana protest listed on the site. Listings for Walmarts, and Sam's Club stores, in Missoula, Kalispell, Butte, Havre, Lewistown, Miles City, Billings and Laurel merely list locations with an invitation for people to "adopt this event."

Questions remain over whether the National Labor Relations Board will issue an injunction to stop the picketing. Walmart requested NLRB review its complaint that the United Food and Commercial Workers Union is actually organizing the protests. But NLRB said yesterday the issues are "complex" and it might not be able to reach a decision before shopping starts Thursday.

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