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Protests Backed By Union Get Wal-Mart’s Attention

Publication Date: 
November 18, 2012
The New York Times
Steven Greenhouse and Stephanie Clifford

Professor Bill Gould spoke with the New York Times' Steven Greenhouse and Stephanie Clifford on repeated efforts by unions to organize their workers from Wal-Mart and the progress they made thus far through recent demonstrations. 

For years, Wal-Mart has fended off repeated efforts by unions and their supporters to organize its workers. Now, that battle is once again escalating.

In a rare move, Wal-Mart is trying to stop a union-backed group from staging a series of demonstrations against the company on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.


William B. Gould IV, a Stanford University law professor and chairman of the labor board under President Bill Clinton, said the protests were more about employment conditions and retaliation against employees than a unionization drive.

"I don’t see this translating into a great deal of success in terms of unionizing Wal-Mart or in terms of being particularly effective in improving conditions," Mr. Gould said. "But I must say if they've gone to the N.L.R.B. on this, that must show that Wal-Mart is really concerned."