Friday, September 25, 2020

Walmart cuts workers' hours but increases workload as sales rise amid pandemic

I have noticed that people on Facebook post pledges not to do business with companies they rarely or never use, because they make campaign donations to a political party they don't like, but they continue to shope at Amazon or Walmart, because they are cheap. Of course, the reason they are cheap is that they don't pay their employees well.

Michael Sainato
Thu 24 Sep 2020 05.00 EDT
Last modified on Thu 24 Sep 2020 11.17 EDT

Walmart is cutting some workers’ hours and pay while increasing their workloads, according to workers who spoke to the Guardian, all while promising “greater opportunity for associates to lead and take more ownership in the business”.

The retailer has emerged as one of the biggest winners of the pandemic. In August, Walmart announced a 9.3% rise in store sales and a 97% rise in e-commerce.

According to staff, the company is now pushing ahead with restructuring plans that for some workers has “cut hours horrendously. It made it very difficult to pay bills.”


Several former and current Walmart said the Great Workplace program included significant cuts to workers’ hours, pay cuts, increased workloads, and Walmart’s new teaming program is expected to bring about similar changes.

“They combined three departments into one and then expected all the associates from those areas to fight for hours,” said Kimberly Patrick Gray, a Walmart associate for four years in Tupelo, Mississippi, who quit on 28 February 2020 after her schedule was reduced from around 35 hours a week on average to less than 20 hours this year. “The program just hurts the associates. It cut hours horrendously. It made it very difficult to pay bills.”

A department manager in Arizona, who requested to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, expects to have their pay cut due to Walmart’s new restructuring by at least $2.05 an hour if they aren’t chosen for a team lead role, despite working over 20 years at Walmart.


Walmart is estimated to save around $2.2bn annually from the tax cut bill. Before the bill was passed, Walmart announced plans to spend $20bn over the next two years on stock buybacks. Ken Jacobs, the chair of the University of California at Berkeley Labor Center has estimated it would cost Walmart $3.8bn to increase their minimum wage to $15 an hour, the level being lobbied for by the Fight for $15 movement, Senator Bernie Sanders and others.


“Work loads increased and the management was pushing us to get more done than if I had a full staff. Not one of them knew how to do my job in stripping and waxing floors, but they would tell me how long it should take and yell at me and my crew if we ran behind the time they gave us,” Stevens said.


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