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 and a "premium holiday," when Wal-Mart pays a portion of health insurance premiums for covered employees.Any ideas on what makes a polo shirt special?
The article goes on to talk about new policies at Wal-Mart:
Wal-Mart has sought to create a cheaper, more flexible labor force by capping wages, using more part-time employees, scheduling more workers at nights and weekends, and cracking down on unexcused days off.So if your kid gets sick and you miss work to take care of them you can get fired, but in exchange if you make it 20 years you get a polo shirt? Now I really want to know what makes that shirt so special! Back to the article to find out:
. . .
the new attendance policy, which originally called for disciplinary action after three unauthorized absences (although it was later revised to four unexcused absences).
Asked if absence for a family emergency, like a sick child, would be authorized, Mr. Uselton recounted, the manager said, "No, it’s not."
Other perks, like a shirt that states length of employment in five-year increments starting with 20 years of service, appear designed to build morale, but might do the opposite.I think low pay and lack of health insurance have more to do with low morale at Wal-Mart than those "special" shirts. But with sales at Wal-Mart falling, the chickens are coming home to roost. An article in Business Week talks about how Wal-Mart management's poor treatment of their workers is hurting the company's bottom line:
One question on the minds of some retail experts: Is Wal-Mart's reputation hurting sales? After all, last year consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that 2% to 8% of the company's customers have stopped shopping there "because of negative press they have heard." And that was before the negative publicity campaigns by two of its most vociferous opponents - union-funded groups Wal-Mart Watch and WakeUpWalmart.com. This year both groups have ramped up their attacks on Wal-Mart, calling on the company to provide a "living wage and affordable health care" for employeesRead more on what WakeUpWalMart has in store this holiday season.
And check out what Wal-Mart workers have to say.
I'll give the final word to Saturday Night Live.
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