NLRB Not Likely to Rule on Walmart Thanksgiving Squabble in Time

Company had accused organizers of illegal picketing


It looks like a spate of walkouts Wal-Mart workers have planned for Black Friday will go on. The Bentonville (Ark.)-based company had accused the workers of illegal picketing last Friday, making a rare complaint to the National Labor Relations Board. The company asked the board to issue an injunction to stop the strikes in their tracks. While the NLRB usually takes months to issue a decision, officials said they made this case a high priority.

The NLRB weighed in on Tuesday afternoon, with a statement that isn't going to make either party particularly pleased. Citing the complexity of the case at hand, the NLRB decided to put off a decision until after Thanksgiving. "The legal issues—including questions about what constitutes picketing and whether the activity was aimed at gaining recognition for the union—are complex," NLRB spokeswoman Nancy Cleeland said in a statement. "The Memphis Office expects to complete its investigation tomorrow (Wednesday). Because of the complexity of the case, it will then be sent to the NLRB Division of Advice in Washington, D.C., for further analysis. Under these circumstances, the Office of General Counsel does not expect to make a decision before Thursday on whether or not to seek an injunction to stop the activity."