No, I don't think we can blame this on Wal-Mart. This is San Diego, LA, and surrounding areas; we've had Wal-Mart for quite a while. The three grocery chains involved in this dispute have been posting very nice profits, too, while we've had WalMart. These are not mom-and-pop grocery stores, they are three nationwide major chains. They are publicly traded corporations and have reported very healthy profits in the last few fiscal years; but apparently they think they can boost profits a little further.
The Stater Bros. chain, and the independent markets, are doing very well in the "struck" market. Smart & Final and Food4Less seem to be staying open, too.
Neither the union nor the market chains have been very forthcoming in the local press as to the exact details of the contract negotiation but I do know that the union asked for binding arbitration, and the stores rejected arbitration. Further negotiation seems not to be occuring. I'm far more annoyed with the market chains than I am with the union, and may continue shopping my IGA store when the strike is over. (I assume it will someday be over.)
I know that NM and some others really really dislike WalMart. OK, I'll grant you that their business tactics are, um, not all that lovable. But if you really want to annoy WalMart, help some union organize the work force there. That, WalMart would notice and really hate.