Now the NLRB is functioning and it acknowledged some complaints against Wal-Mart last month.

Another big difference between today and 1937 may be in the media, whose reporting about the new round of union agitation is divided along partisan lines.

It's not just Fox protesting the latest round of labor agitation. So is most of the business press.  Fast food and Wal-Mart are ubiquitous in American life, so consumers are very interested in the outcome.

Public support for unions, while higher than it was during the crash of 2008, is still near historic lows with only 54% supporting union rights and 39%, close to an all-time high, opposing them.

With unemployment at 7% and labor markets starting to tighten, 2014 will be a hard year for big employers trying to hold the line on wages, and consumers looking for a cheap meal.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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