One Month After Closing Stores For Plumbing Repairs, Walmart Actually Files For Permits

When Walmart closed five stores in four different states on the same day, claiming that they were shutting down due to unspecified “plumbing problems,” people became suspicious. Some citizen theories involve the military, and others involve the nationwide OUR Walmart walkouts that began at one of the California stores targeted for temporary closing. One piece of evidence was that Walmart hadn’t yet filed for permits for any of these urgent renovations. Well, now they have.

OUR Walmart is the campaign for better pay and work conditions for Walmart employees that’s backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. UFCW filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing Walmart of targeting the store for temporary closure to punish that store’s employees, many of whom have been active in the OUR Walmart movement. The other closings, the union claimed in its complaint, were to make it look like the temporary closings weren’t about punishing the employees of one store. The closings, which could last until the end of this year, put about 2,200 full- and part-time workers out of work.

Walmart announced today that it finally got around to filing for the required permits for the plumbing work in these five stores, which includes tearing up floors and replacing sewer lines. According to Walmart, these five stores all had extensive plumbing problems, which included flooded sales floors and other issues that affected their ability to prepare and sell food in-store.

A Walmart spokesperson told Reuters that the company has granted severance pay to part-time employees, which is not its normal policy, and that about half of the employees displaced by the plumbing repairs have found jobs at other nearby Walmart stores.

Wal-Mart seeks repair permits for stores in labor dispute

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