Wal-Mart accused of closing stores in ‘retaliation’ for workers demanding better pay and conditions

The company has said the stores need to be closed for plumbing repairs A major American retailer has been accused of closing five of its stores in retaliation against workers who attempted to campaign for better pay and conditions.

Wal-Mart stores announced last week that it was closing five of its stores — in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and California – on a temporary basis while it carried out plumbing repairs. But activists have accused of the company of seeking revenge after many of its staff at one of the affected stores joined a union and demanded better pay.

They claimed the company had closed the other stores to provide itself with cover.

On Monday, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), made a formal complaint to the National Labour Relations Board, pointing out that the store that had been shut in Pico Rivera, California, was at the centre of worker action and had seen the first Wal-Mart strike in 2012.