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UFCW, Wal-Mart Reach Settlement

WASHINGTON — The United Food and Commercial Workers Union here said Thursday it has reached a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board in which it agreed to stop "all picketing and confrontational conduct" at Wal-Mart for at least 60 days — an agreement that resulted from unfair labor claims brought against the union over picketing activities at Wal-Mart stores just prior to Black Friday.

Jill Cashen, director of communications for the union, said the UFCW had not sought to represent Wal-Mart employees as part of an effort to organize them in staging those picketing activities, though those are the charges she said Wal-Mart brought against the union in its NLRB filing. She said the agreement "allows the UFCW to continue its support for OUR Walmart and the tens of thousands of supporters who stand with them. Wal-Mart workers and their supporters will continue their call for change at Wal-Mart and an end to its attempts to silence workers who speak out for better jobs."

David Tovar, vice president, communications, for Walmart U.S., said in a statement the unfair labor practice charge against the union will remain in place for several months "to hold the UFCW accountable should it violate the agreement during that time."

Read more: Groups Urge Wal-Mart to Stop Selling Assault Weapons

Wal-Mart’s complaint, filed in November, had accused the UFCW of violating federal labor law over the previous six months “by picketing and threatening to picket Walmart headquarters and numerous Walmart stores and other facilities in various states, together with mass demonstrations, in-store ‘flash mobs,’ and trespass on Walmart property, intimidating Walmart customers and employees.”

Wal-Mart added that the actions were a means of “forcing or requiring Walmart to recognize and/or bargain with the union as the representative of Walmart employees.”

In a statement on its website, the NLRB said the charge will be held “in abeyance” and dismissed after six months, as long as the union complies with the commitments it has made, which also include disavowing an effort to organize.

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