Klamath Falls Walmart disciplines strikers

Fired Walmart striker Ismael Nuñez speaks to television cameras outside a South Medford Walmart Supercenter at a Feb. 4 picket demanding his reinstatement. (Photo by Allen Hallmark)
Fired Walmart striker Ismael Nuñez speaks to television cameras outside a South Medford Walmart Supercenter at a Feb. 4 picket demanding his reinstatement. (Photo by Allen Hallmark)

A Klamath Falls Walmart has now disciplined all three workers who took part in a nationwide strike action last November.

Ismael Nuñez, an 11-year employee, was fired Jan. 26 — supposedly for having left eggs too long unrefrigerated three weeks earlier. Union and community supporters at Southern Oregon Jobs With Justice responded with pickets Feb. 4 outside the Klamath Falls and Medford stores, demanding Nuñez’ reinstatement.

Then on Feb. 14, Nuñez’ wife Jennifer Chavez (a fellow Walmart employee) was called into a meeting with her shift manager and given a formal warning for an attendance violation — for taking part in the strike. Chavez says the third Klamath Falls striker, Brian Garlock, received the same discipline. The warning — known as “a coaching” in Walmart’s internal jargon — is the first step in a three-step disciplinary process that ends in termination.

“They told me if they if I keep participating with the union, the company would discipline me,” Chavez said.

The Black Friday strike was called by Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), which is backed by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

Southern Oregon Jobs With Justice is calling on supporters to call Walmart store manager Kelly Cooper at 541-885-6890 and tell her to put Ismael back to work.

 

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