Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

UFCW’s Wal-Mart Stunts Find and Fool Few

Being knowledgeable observers of America’s labor movement, the Center for Union Facts staff was well aware that Thanksgiving weekend shopping might be disrupted by highly orchestrated union-led protests against major retailers. For the third year running, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), its subsidiary front group OUR Walmart, and its coordinating P.R. shop Berlin Rosen held “strikes” on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

As our Executive Director noted in an op-ed at the Daily Caller, these so-called “strikes” are anything but. Unfortunately, not everybody gets it:

Previous protests have fallen spectacularly flat. In one last November, OUR Walmart was unable to reach its disclosed goal of turning out just 500 Walmart associates. (Walmart estimated that fewer than 20 turned out). Similar rallies have also proven to be Potemkin village protests, despite financial rewards offered by the UFCW.


For the most part, the media has been happy to buy in to this PR campaign, referring to OUR Walmart as an independent organization that simply wants better worker conditions for associates. This despite the fact that publically available filings with the Department of Labor expose the group as a “labor organization” and a “subsidiary organization” of the UFCW.

Unsurprisingly, this year doesn’t appear to have been much different. The Washington Examiner reported that the UFCW had billed a D.C. demonstration as a major event despite the fact that only 5-10 employees from the region (which has 22 Wal-Marts in a 25-mile radius of downtown Washington) appeared to have taken part (according to a Wal-Mart spokesperson). (The Examiner additionally noted that UFCW/OUR Walmart had directed reporters to only the ten largest demonstrations.)

One of our researchers conducted his own holiday shopping at a Wal-Mart on “Black Friday,” and encountered zero protesters at a suburban Virginia store. In this regard, he’s no different than countless other Americans who enjoyed their shopping completely unmolested by UFCW or its left-wing allies. With allegations and strong circumstantial evidence that OUR Walmart exists to serve UFCW’s long-term aim of unionizing Wal-Mart employees, the question remains how long  the UFCW will continue foolishly spending member dues.

Categories: Anti-Corporate CampaignsCenter for Union FactsUFCWWorkers Center