Spokesmen for Walmart have been quoted as saying they appreciate their associates for everything they do to serve customers during this busy holiday shopping season, but the workers say they don’t see the appreciation.
“I’m struggling, needing help from my parents or the community. I’m on food stamps,” said Walmart electronics associate Barbara Collins.
The goal of trying to feed her children – that’s what’s got Collins set to walk-out of the place she’s walked into for years to punch the company time clock.
Collins isn’t fond of Walmart’s plan to start special sales at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night, but she’s more upset about the way she says the company’s retaliating against full-time employees who want to unionize.
She says they’re cutting shifts.
“I’ve never had my hours cut back this bad before. Management says it’s a glitch in the system and I’m just not buying the stories anymore,” said Collins.
According to Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg, there are only a “handful of associates, at a handful of stores scattered across the country that are participating in these (…) made for TV events.”
While Collins walks out Black Friday morning, other associates at an estimated 1,000 of the company’s 4,000 storefronts will start Thursday night – protesting the early sales.
Walmart says it’s just trying to deliver what customers want in an increasingly competitive environment.
Target also plans to start Black Friday shopping late Thanksgiving evening.
Customers do like the convenience those hours provide.
“If we go shopping at two in the morning we go to bed. This way, we can go shopping after we finish dinner, relax for a little while and be done, early enough to go home and go to bed,” said Diance Child of Placerville.
Collins says convenience shouldn’t compromise fair treatment for workers.
Occupy Sacramento is holding a rally Wednesday to support Walmart workers.
Walmart itself has taken the issue to the national labor relations board, claiming unions are trying to interfere with their business.