Business

Union agrees to back off Wal-Mart protests

Labor groups will end picketing at Walmart stores for at least 60 days as part of a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board. But they vowed to continue to press the world’s largest retailer to better working conditions and raise wages.

The agreement, announced by the labor board Thursday, comes after the discounter

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Walmart Stores Inc. filed a complaint Nov. 20 against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. It said demonstrations organized by union-backed OUR Walmart that culminated on the day after Thanksgiving threatened to disrupt its business and intimidate customers and other store workers.

OUR Walmart filed its own charge, citing attempts to deter workers from participating in what the group called legally protected walkouts.

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At issue were what constitutes picketing and whether the activity was aimed at gaining recognition for the union.

The agreement will stop picketing and ‘‘confrontational conduct’’ for at least 60 days. The NLRB said it is unnecessary to decide the merits of the case given union commitments. The complaint will be dismissed in six months as long as the union complies with the agreement it made.

Walmart last month said it would help part-timers transition to full-time if they want.

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