Union Gift Card to Induce Workers to Strike Found Not Coercive

Did you know that some Walmart workers who went on strike against Walmart on Black Friday were given gift cards as an inducement to strike against their employer?

The UFCW, the union leading the strikes and protests against Walmart, advertised an offer of $50 gift cards to the first 700 employees who walked off their jobs on Black Friday. Rather than pony up the cash from their multi-hundreds of millions of dollars bank account, the union solicited donations from supporters to finance the offer.

Interestingly, the NLRB has held that union payments for services performed by strikers or to compensate them for lost wages does not interfere with employees’ free choice in a representation election though neither side is allowed to “buy” a vote.

As you can imagine, the NLRB said that the UFCW gift cards were not meant to buy employee support for OUR Walmart. For proof, it noted that the $50 offer was open to the first 700 workers regardless of union affiliation or sympathies. But doesn’t it stand to reason that only union supporters would choose to strike against their company?

Matt Austin is a Columbus, Ohio lawyer who owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm with offices in central and northeast Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. Austin Legal’s Concierge Legal Services program is relied upon by companies to remain compliant and competitive. If you have employees, you need Concierge Legal Services. You can call Matt at (614) 285-5342 or email him at Austin@LaborEmploymentOSHA.com.