Ex-Walmart Employee Claims He Was Handcuffed After Talking To Workers About Black Friday Strike

A man who was recently fired from a Florida Walmart says that he was handcuffed by a police officer at the store yesterday while trying to talk to current workers about plans for an employee strike on Black Friday.

The former employee was dismissed from his job in September. The company says it was for falsifying his time clock records, while he claims that he was fired for becoming a pro-union activist and that it is a common practice to retroactively correct the time clock if an employee helps a customer before clocking in.

He tells The Nation that he has returned to the store on a few occasions since his dismissal and that he’s always left when asked by management, but that no one ever served him with a trespassing warning.

Then yesterday, he says he found himself being handcuffed by a police officer who had been called to the store by management. The ex-Walmarter says management had told police that a trespassing warning had previously been issued, but when the officer asked to see the documentation, the manager changed their story and the employee was released from the cuffs.

However, this time, the store did make sure to issue an actual warning that prohibits the former worker from entering the premises.

“It was really humiliating,” he tells the Nation. “Because who would expect being handcuffed in front of a lot of [workers] and customers? Customers that pretty much know you, because you worked for the company for three years.”

The man was at the store with a representative from the group OUR Walmart, which is organizing the Black Friday strike and has organized other strikes at stores, most notably in Southern California. The group allege that Walmart managers have retaliated or threatened employees who have voiced pro-union sentiments.

Walmart maintains that it does not tolerate retaliation and that the police were notified in this case because the former worker had ignored previous warnings by management against solicitation in the store.

Given that one side of this issue will claim there is no retaliation and the other side will claim it’s a widespread problem, we would like to hear from current and former Walmart workers to get actual insiders’ views on the situation.

If you want to share your experiences and insights (whether you’re for, against or undecided about unions), write us at tips@consumerist.com with the subject line “Walmart Union News.”