[FoRK] WalMart on the cutting edge

Adam L Beberg beberg
Sun Jun 19 11:28:23 PDT 2005

Another Chinese innovation in working conditions makes it to the US 
coutesy of WalMart  :)

And who are they kidding, service at WalMart is crappy no matter when 
you go there. And I can't blame them in any way considering what they make.


Wal-Mart store tells workers to be ready to work any shift
NITRO, W.Va. (AP) ? Workers at a West Virginia Wal-Mart (WMT) store have 
been ordered to be available to work any shift at any time or face 

The new "open-availability" policy at the Wal-Mart store in Nitro is 
needed to ensure there is adequate staff during peak hours, said John 
Knuckles, a manager at the store.

"We have many people with set schedules who aren't here when we need 
them for our customers," Knuckles said.

"It is to take care of the customers, that's the only reason."

Workers who cannot commit to being available for any shift between 7 
a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week, will be fired by the end of this 
week. The store employs more than 400 workers.

"It shouldn't cause any problem, if they are concerned about their 
customers," Knuckles said.

Wal-Mart corporate spokesman Dan Fogelman said other stores have such rules.

"This is something that is done throughout Wal-Mart stores," Fogelman 
said. "The reality of retail is that our busiest times are evenings and 
weekends, so it only makes sense that we have higher staffing levels at 
those times."

Workers who are fired because they cannot meet the new requirement 
likely will qualify for unemployment benefits, said David McMahon with 
Legal Aid of West Virginia.

"If these people lose their jobs through no fault of their own, as a 
general rule they will be eligible for unemployment benefits," McMahon 
said Wednesday.

A union spokesman criticized the policy at the non-union retailer's store.

"This is a chilling new direction for Wal-Mart," said Chris Kofinis, 
communications adviser for Wake Up Wal-Mart, a promotional campaign 
financed by the United Food and Commercial Workers union. "It shows that 
when you work at Wal-Mart, you can neither afford a decent standard of 
life or even have a life."

Information from: The Charleston Gazette

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