A former United Food and Commercial Workers official said that the union’s planned Black Friday protests are aimed at unionizing the nation’s largest retailer, despite claims to the contrary.
Former UFCW organizer Rian Wathen disputes the union’s insistence that the protests, which are organized by a nonprofit subsidiary called OUR Walmart, are not intended to impose a union on the company.
“These front groups are nothing more than a way to organize,” Wathen said in a press call Tuesday. “It’s not about anything else.”
Wathen worked at Indianapolis-based UFCW Local 700 for 15 years and was “actively involved in the 2002 National Day of Action against Walmart,” as well as the planning for nonprofit “front groups” to aid union growth. He became the third-highest-ranking union official in the state and was in charge of collective bargaining and director of organizing.
However, he was ousted from the union after “raising internal ethical issues” about union practices to his higher ups. He said that he harbors “no love for Walmart,” but is speaking up against the union’s “deception” about what amounts to a data mining operation that will serve the union’s interests.