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AFSCME Local 3963

 

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The Wichita-Hutchinson Labor Federation of Central Kansas
reports on a rather embarrassing episode in which Wal-Mart's
anti-union animus recently overcame their better sense:

 "Public Outrage Forces Walmart to Allow
 Workers to Wear American Flag Stickers

 Walmart Refuses to Apologize to Workers

 No Manager Disciplined or Reprimanded

Walmart Senior VP Insults Workers by Calling It 'Confusion'

 

Las Vegas -- Employees at the Sam's Club in Las Vegas, Nevada are
claiming victory after Wal-Mart reversed a store policy banning
American flag stickers on name badges.

The company had ordered employees to remove the stickers which were
provided to the workers by the United Food & Commercial Workers
Union.

A massive internet email based campaign was launched on September
17 after Sam's Club store #6382 managers began forcing all of its
employees to remove small American flag stickers that were passed
out by a Union to whomever wanted one.

"I was outraged to learn that Wal-Mart employees working at store
#6382 were forced to remove flags from their name badges!" said one
email letter to Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott from Andrea Goldberger in
Albany, NY. "Although your company markets itself as good for
America, I wonder where your allegiance truly lies."

The email campaign resulted in massive amounts of emails being sent
to both H. Lee Scott CEO of Wal-Mart and the store manager Greg
Roberts from customers nationwide. Some of the letters are
displayed on the workers website located at
www.walmartworkerslv.com

The incident affected not only the workers but also military
veterans and active duty personnel. "Please support me in my hour
of need by letting me come home to a country that is proud of me,"
said James M.P.Hansen, a U.S. Navy Petty Officer serving overseas
in his email to the Wal-Mart CEO "Just please sir, let me come home
to a proud country."

Jay Allen, Senior Vice President of Wal-Mart corporate affairs
issued a statement today stating "In light of the terrible tragedy
that recently struck our country, we have communicated to our
associates that as long as their names are visible; they may wear
American Flags anywhere, including their badges, to display their
patriotism."

Any of the employees of the store affected, and no managers at the
location have been disciplined.

This is the third victory for the employees at the Sam's Club.
Previously they forced the company to reverse a policy that made
them unable to wear any pins besides company provided ones. Workers
in the store recently filed for a Government election for union
representation.

AP reports on a strike at the East Texas Campbell Soup plant:

"Striking Campbell Soup Co. workers picketed outside the company's
East Texas plant Friday after rejecting an offer they said would
have reduced their buying power.

A consultant for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 540
estimated that at least 85 percent of the union's 700 members
joined the strike, which began Thursday night.

At a delivery point, some union truckers making deliveries turned
their rigs around after they saw the picket line. But some workers
reported to their jobs Friday.

The Paris plant has about 1,200 employees, including management,
temporary and part-time workers.

Officials with Camden, N.J.-based Campbell say they don't expect
the strike to hurt production. Even if the Paris operation slows,
plants in other states can step up production to meet the
shortfall, said spokeswoman Elizabeth Douglass.

Campbell officials said the offer rejected by workers this week was
fair and the only one the company will make. Workers said they
hoped the strike would force the company to make a new proposal.

"They're losing money every day," union member Jason Johnson told
>the Paris News. "They're not going to be able to run anything."

The company proposed a 41/2-year contract that called for higher
insurance premiums and a pension plan based on interest rates
rather than wages and years of service. It also included a one-time
$1,500 lump-sum payment instead of a percentage raise, which union
members said was unacceptable.

Union officials said 96 percent of the workers voted against the
proposal. They said the offer wouldn't let workers' paychecks keep
up with inflation and would weaken the pension plan. The union's
last contract expired at the end of August.

The last strike at the plant lasted a month in 1968.

Campbell still controls more than 70 percent of the $3.1 billion
soup industry but faces tougher competition from other brands and
more-convenient foods.

Last month, Campbell reported a 12 percent drop in earnings for the
quarter ended July 29 and said its earnings in the following three
months would also fall short of expectations. The company blamed
higher costs, changes in global manufacturing plants and interest
costs from buying a dry soup and sauce businesses in Europe.

In afternoon trading Friday, Campbell shares rose 14 cents to
$27.71."