Wal-Mart is no stranger to controversy; as with any major company, they’ve garnered ire from customers and employees alike over the years for various reasons. However, the most recent event to place them in headlines is a staged walkout by employees in several cities over scheduling conflicts, health care, and pay issues. The loss of so many from the floors and stockrooms could result in major issues come Black Friday.
The affected employees, who have left their jobs in cities like Dallas, L.A., Chicago, and Miami, say that bringing their complaints to the attention of the managers has only left them with scheduling conflicts, which they contend only happen as a sort of punishment. Many of the ones who have left say they did so out of outrage that their holiday schedules included Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.
While many side with the people who have walked out, some say they knew what they were getting into when they signed up for a retail job. Many companies require employees to work either a reduced shift on every holiday or to rotate on every other one, meaning they might have Thanksgiving off but would have to work Christmas. And for Black Friday–the biggest day of the year for most retailers–it’s near impossible to request off.
Wal-Mart insists that the media hype around the walkouts is just that–hype–and said in a statement that they are confident they have enough employees to more than cover the biggest shopping day of the year.
We have a great group of associates at Walmart. We’ll have more than one million associates working throughout the holiday weekend and they’re excited about our Black Friday plans this year. This is the Super Bowl for retailers and we’re ready. We’ve been working on our Black Friday plans for almost a year now and we’re prepared to have a great event. Our associates care about providing a great customer experience on Black Friday and we’re confident that’s what customers will have at Walmart this year.