Wal-Mart Stores Inc is taking its first legal step to stop months of protests and rallies outside Walmart stores, targeting the union that it says is behind such actions.
Wal-Mart filed an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, or UFCW, asking the National Labor Relations Board to halt what the retailer says are unlawful attempts to disrupt its business.
The move comes just a week before what is expected to be the largest organized action against the world's largest retailer, as a small group of Walmart workers prepare to strike on Black Friday, typically the busiest shopping day of the year.
"We are taking this action now because we cannot allow the UFCW to continue to intentionally seek to create an environment that could directly and adversely impact our customers and associates," Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said on Friday. "If they do, they will be held accountable."
The UFCW responded with The union is undeterred. "Walmart is grasping at straws. There's nothing in the law that gives an employer the right to silence workers and citizens."
"We just don't think what the unions have to offer is a better deal for our associates," said Wal-Mart's spokesman, David Tovar.