Day of Action on Scheduling and Hours

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 24, 2013

NATIONWIDE COMMUNITY AND WORKER DELEGATIONS CALL ON WALMART STORE MANAGERS, CEO MIKE DUKE TO CORRECT SCHEDULING PROBLEMS

Actions come as concern grows over Walmart’s inability to keep shelves stocked due to inadequate staffing

Today Walmart employees, community supporters, and allies across the country took delegations to more than 150 stores calling on Walmart managers to publicly commit to immediately addressing the scheduling problems that leave many associates unable to care for their families and afford basic necessities like food and rent – and impact their ability to help grow the economy. Walmart’s hours and scheduling practices – which workers and community have repeatedly raised as key concerns– have come under sharp criticism recently from customers and analysts for contributing to empty shelves, backed-up inventory, long lines, as well as weakened reputation and lower store sales at Walmart.

“Even after five years at the company, I’m not getting the hours that I need and want,” said Maria Elena Jefferson. “Even if I wanted to get a second job or go back to school, I couldn’t because Walmart constantly changes my schedule. I’m dedicated to my job and I have years of experience – I want to work full time so that the work gets done well.”

The groups, which include hundreds of Walmart associates and community supporters, delivered a February letter to CEO Mike Duke calling on the executive to address the widespread staffing issues at stores nationwide. With no response at the national level and continued attempts to silence workers who voice their concerns, the groups are calling for Duke’s resignation for a failure of leadership on these critical issues and appealing to individual store managers for more hours and transparent scheduling practices at their stores.

“You can see the problems when you walk into the store – the shelves are empty,” said Derek Sanders of Fremont, CA who has worked at Walmart for seven years. “And in the back room, it’s even worse. We’re two seasons behind on getting things out to the floor. Yet with all the work that needs to be done, I am still only able to get 24 hours of work most weeks. It’s impossible to get all the work done in the time allotted.”

Over the past five years, Walmart has undergone a 5.8 percent decline in employees–more than 82,000 workers.

Insufficient hours and inconsistent scheduling have been central concerns being raised by members of OUR Walmart, the organization of associates calling for a change of course at the company.  In protest of the illegal efforts to silence their voices, associates at 1,000 stores across the country took bold action by going on strike at Walmart on Black Friday with tens of thousands of supporters joining them. Since that time, Walmart has increased its efforts to keep workers quiet, even filing a meritless lawsuit against some workers.

In January 2013, OUR Walmart members won what looked like a victory: Walmart President Bill Simon publicly announced that Walmart would provide more transparency in scheduling and offer part time workers the opportunity to get the hours they so desperately need to make ends meet. Months later, workers report that Walmart has yet to make good on its public commitment to change.

“It’s time for Walmart to make good on its public commitment to workers and to our community,” said Sarita Gupta, the executive director of Jobs with Justice and American Rights at Work. “We cannot strengthen our economy when the country’s largest employer is creating erratic scheduling and inadequate hours that keep hardworking associates from being able to support their families.”

Even with short-staffing impacting store sales, Walmart is still reporting $16 billion in annual profits and the Walton family, which controls the majority of the company, is wealthier than 42 percent of American families – combined.  At the same time, many of its workers are relying on public programs, including food stamps, Medicaid and other healthcare programs to support their families. The most recent Congressional review, which was prior to the recent economic downturn that has seen an uptick in families relying on public supports, estimated a cost of $420,750 tax dollars per year, per standard Walmart store for coverage of food, housing and healthcare assistance that workers are unable to afford on their wages.

Follow the conversation on Twitter at #WMTJobs and see photos at ChangeWalmart.Tumblr.com.

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UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Wal-Mart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Wal-Mart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Wal-Mart publically commit to adhering to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.

3 thoughts on “Day of Action on Scheduling and Hours

  1. let get
    Walmart change into United Food And Commercial Workers Unionize Walmart
    Store for all Walmart Cashier Workers and for all Walmart Produce Workers and
    for all Walmart Deli Department Workers and for all Walmart Bakery Department
    Workers and for all Walmart Pharmacy Workers,
    let get Walmart change into Teamster Unionize Walmart Store for all
    Walmart and Sam’s Club Truck Driver Workers and for all Sam’s Club Forklift
    Driver@Stock Person Workers and for all Walmart Stock Person Workers and for
    all Sam’s Club Cashier Workers and for all Sam’s Club Meat Cutter@Meat Wrapper
    Workers and for all Sam’s Club Produce Workers and for all Sam’s Club Deli
    Department Workers and for all Sam’s Club Bakery Department Workers and for all
    Walmart Customer Services Desk Workers and for all Sam’s Club Membership Desk
    Workers and for all Walmart Courtesy Association Workers and for all Sam’s Club
    Cart Attendance Workers and for all Walmart Maintenance Association Workers and
    for all Sam’s Club Maintenance Workers and for all Sam’s Club Pharmacy Workers,
    let get Walmart Change into Communication Workers of America Workers Unionize
    Walmart Store for all Walmart and Sam’ Electronics Workers, let get Walmart
    change into United Auto Workers Unionize Walmart Store for all Walmart
    Tire@Lube Express Workers and for all Sam’s Club Tire@Car Battery Installment
    Workers right of away and right now please by make Walmart give all Walmart
    Workers and all Sam’s Club Workers a Living Wage With Affordable Health Care
    Right of away and right now please without close down all the Walmart Store and
    without close down all the Sam’s Wholesale Club

    Think You Very Much

    From Tom P Noonan

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