Labor Union Campaign Underway at Orem Wal-Mart

Labor Union Campaign Underway at Orem Wal-Mart

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(Orem-AP) -- United Food and Commercial Workers representatives are trying to organize Wal-Mart Supercenter employees in Orem.

But employees like Debbie Harward, a Wal-Mart associate for 13 years, says she's concerned that unionizing would lead to lower wages and benefits. Her hourly wage is between 15 dollars and 20 dollars.

Terry Rachiele is the U-F-C-W's union local representative. Based in Salt Lake City, Local 711 represents workers in Utah and Nevada, including Smith's and Albertson's grocery store employees in Utah County.

He says hourly wages for union members with two or more years of experience are set at 12 dollars and 51 cents, with an hourly increase of 25 cents annually thereafter. He says most Wal-Mart workers make less than that.

If 30 percent of the store's 500 associate employees sign cards indicating they want to unionize, federal law requires the store to allow a vote on the issue.

In recent months, organized labor has escalated efforts to unionize Wal-Mart stores after five years of failing to make any inroads at all.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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