Wal-Mart "Thanks" Workers

Wal-Mart has admitted they owe something to their 1.3 million laborers in the United States. It’s taken years and years and years of protests, mailings, complaints and demonstrations for them to realize this. So how is Wal-Mart planning on thanking the 1.3 million who run their company?? By giving them polo shirts and an additional 10% off on a specific item each week. The program is called “Associates Out in Front” and was leaked to the New York Times by Wake Up Wal-Mart

The program includes several new perks “as a way of saying thank you” to workers, like a special polo shirt after 20 years of service….Employees who last 40 years will receive matching pants with an option to trade in their Polo shirt for a special edition DVD of “Car 54, Where are You?”

Under the program, store managers are to meet each week with 10 employees who sign up to discuss concerns, suggestions and ideas for improving operations. The program also requires regional general managers to conduct monthly town-hall meetings that are open to every worker in the area.

What are Associates saying about the program?

  • Cleo Forward, a 37-year-old support manager at a Wal-Mart in Dallas, said the new program was promising, but that it fell short in recognizing long-time workers who felt unappreciated by the changes. “They are going to spend $15 on a Polo for you after 20 years? Give me a break,” he said. “We would rather they lift the wage caps.”

  • “Many of the associates were very upset,” Mr. Uselton said, a 35-year-old overnight floor cleaner at a Wal-Mart in Tyler, Tex.. “Management is just not listening anymore.” Some Wal-Mart employees said workers might be afraid to speak up because they have seen coworkers retaliated against — for instance, transferred to worse shifts when they voiced their complaints.

It’s yet another weak attempt by Wal-Mart to win back their employee’s, but if you are an employee and you are buying this “Associates Out in Front Program” please ask yourself the same thing Cleo Forward did and many others are…You spend 20 years at a company and their thank you is a $15 Polo shirt made in a sweatshop in Cambodia, sounds like payback to me.

Read the entire New York Times article.