Is Walmart Retaliating Against Workers Who Strike?

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Walmart worker Colby Harris on Lunchtime LiveColby Harris had been selling produce for Walmart for four years near Dallas when he decided to participate in a walkout this spring. Soon after, he told AOL Jobs' "Lunchtime Live" Friday, his managers began to snoop on him. "When I come in,
managers come out of nowhere to watch me to see what I am talking about," Harris (pictured at right) said. And in addition to the extra surveillance, Harris also said his managers have changed around his schedule for no reason and have told him the strikes he's participating in are illegal.

Walmart has not responded to requests for comment from AOL Jobs. Harris, for his part, is still employed by the retail giant, but his charge of retaliation is not unique. Last year, there were 37,836 complaints by workers alleging retaliation, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Harris has not filed a formal charge. But many Walmart workers -- who have participated in labor walkouts this year -- have, claiming that they've had their hours cut, their workloads doubled and even been fired.

"When workers become active [protesting against Walmart], there's a lot of toleration of harassment," Erin Johansson, the research director for American Rights at Work, a union-backed worker advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., said during the chat. Johansson recently wrote a report documenting 150 cases in which Walmart workers allege that they were punished for participating in labor and wage protests.

"On paper, we all have the right to come together to try and improve standards," she said. "But it is tough."

View the "Lunchtime Live" highlights reel below:

Lunchtime Live - Is Walmart Retaliating Against Workers on Strike

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