Monday, August 25, 2014

Walmart mismanagement: Does it sound like a place where you work?

Walmart has an outsize impact on the U.S. economy as it depresses wages, increases the trade gap with China and destroys locally-owned competitors. The way it treats its workers may have also spread.

Consider this story from the peerless Hamilton Nolan at Gawker. Nolan received a memo from an Oklahoma Walmart manager who described how the company pitted him against low-income employees.

Here are some of the lowlights:
  • Store managers can double their pay if they keep payroll costs down. "Which means gradually forcing the long time employees out. And replacing them with temporary workers, who are not eligible for healthcare, time off, or even a discount card. Most of these people start off at $7.90 an hour and are already on public assistance. That ends up backfiring because the new hires most of them end up quitting within a month."
  • Plenty of labor law violations. "I've had to cut many of my Cashiers hours and as a result less registers have been open which means longer lines. We've even had to make many cashiers not take their 15 minute break. I've also had to work 60 hour weeks while not receiving any overtime pay."
  • Wage theft by failing to pay overtime. "I ended up working 65 hour weeks (which has been hard on my family) doing tasks such as stocking shelves, running a register, while also being responsible for electronics." Walmart did not pay overtime.
  • Ripping off the customer: A reader commented: Walmart forces managers to do all sorts of questionable things to insure their bonus. One example that is rarely mentioned is the practice of 'pricing mistakes'. Walmart is fond of making items ring up at a higher rate than the displayed signage. They typically do this for popular items and by a small amount. This is done at the store level so that there is not a systematic parity. This is also a violation of the law in most states. To be clear, Walmart doesn't just let this happen. They actively request it(or at least have in the past).
Does this sound like someplace you work?