Labor

Wal-Mart Tells Its Workers Not to Download App Created by Labor Group Advocating For Higher Pay

The smartphone app designed by the group OUR Walmart.

Photo Credit: PROUFCW International Union, Flickr

Wal-Mart is telling its employees not to download a new smartphone app designed by OUR Walmart, a labor group that organizes for workers to receive higher pay and other benefits. The Android app allows Wal-Mart workers to communicate about workplace policies and employee rights. The Wall Street Journal reports that Wal-Mart has instructed its store managers to tell their employees that the app is a scheme created to obtain personal information.

Our Walmart has paying members but isn't considered a typical union because its members don't have collective bargaining rights. In 2015 it severed its connection to the United Food and Commercial Workers International and underwent a "relaunch" that was criticized by some in the labor movement. However, Wal-Mart's long history of fighting unionization efforts has frequently put the group in its cross hairs.

In 2015, Bloomberg revealed that Wal-Mart had hired defense contractor Lockheed Martin to gather intelligence and spy on employees involved in Black Friday protests. Those protests had been planned and organized by OUR Walmart.

The OUR Walmart app is called WorkIt app and was created by Quadrant 2, a New York City software company.

You can read the entire Wall Street Journal story at their website.

Michael Arria is an associate editor at AlterNet and AlterNet's labor editorFollow @MichaelArria on Twitter.

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