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Government finds merit in labor claims against Walmart

A showdown continues between Walmart and the neighboring District of Columbia, where Mayor Vincent Gray could sign a bill that would make large retailers to pay their employees a 50 percent premium over the city's minimum wage.
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A showdown continues between Walmart and the neighboring District of Columbia, where Mayor Vincent Gray could sign a bill that would make large retailers to pay their employees a 50 percent premium over the city's minimum wage.

Federal officials are prepared to file formal complaints against Wal-Mart Stores for allegedly violating the legal rights of protesting workers last year.

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Richard Griffin said Monday there was merit in charges that the retailer unlawfully threatened employees with reprisal if they engaged in strikes and protests over wages and working conditions.

Griffin also is ready to press charges that Wal-Mart illegally threatened, disciplined or terminated more than 100 employees in 13 states for participating in legally protected strikes and protests on Black Friday, the big shopping day after Thanksgiving.

(Read more: Retailers sweeten the pot for Thanksgiving workers)

Formal complaints will be filed if Wal-Mart and the employees fail to reach a settlement.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said the company disagreed with the labor board and was taking steps to defend itself.

—By The Associated Press

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