Wal-Mart’s Greed Continues, Announces Deep Cuts to Workforce

walmartAh yes, the greed of Wal-Mart continues.  Maybe some of you have heard, Wal-Mart has announced that it will be cutting 2,500 Sam’s Club associates effective immediately.  The cuts are primarily focused on assistant managers, but will impact some hourly employees as well.

As some of you might know, I once worked for Sam’s Club and still do have many friends who work for the company.  Some of whom are facing an uncertain future following these cuts.

But before I shred this move, let’s take a look at the reasoning Wal-Mart is giving for these cuts.  Bill Durling, head of communications for Sam’s Club, said:

“We’re always looking at how to be more efficient and effective.  We’re doing this so we can position ourselves for future growth.”

This move is about greed, pure and simple.  Most anyone who works for Sam’s Club knows that each club is usually extremely short-handed.  Try calling a Sam’s Club on a Saturday or Sunday (or heck, pretty much any day), then tell me how long it takes to get someone to answer a phone.  Then once someone does, ask to speak to someone in a specific department.  See how long that takes.  That’s if anyone is actually working in that department.

There were times when I worked for the company that there literally was one person working on the floor.  Nobody in the Grocery department, nobody in Electronics.  Customers would start asking questions to employees who didn’t have answers because they didn’t work in those departments.

So when Durling says these cuts are about being “efficient and effective,” he’s full of crap.  This is the same crap they’ve been doing for years.  Their entire “plan of growth” is essentially cutting workers pay, benefits, perks and jobs to grow profits.

Find someone who’s worked for Sam’s Club for 10 or 20 years.  Then ask them if their benefits, pay and overall experience working at Sam’s has improved or gotten worse.  Once upon a time, Sam’s Club paid its employees overtime for working on Sunday.  Then they knocked it down to paying them $1 more per hour.  Now?  Nothing.

You used to get raises twice a year, now it’s once.

And don’t buy this whole shtick they’re trying to sell that these employees being laid off are being allowed to find other positions within the company.  For assistant managers, “new” positions are extremely rare so most of them will either have to step down into hourly roles or just be let go.

It’s a common joke I used when I worked for the company.  Sam’s Club desperately wants to be Costco.  Well, then they should just be Costco.  Pay your employees more, treat them better and you’ll get more productivity, a better attitude and that will translate into better sales.

But no.  They cut pay, cut benefits, cut jobs, add to every employees workload, push their employees harder and offer them essentially nothing for this added pressure and stress.  Well, outside of being allowed to keep your job – for now.

That is if you get hours.  See, they’ve been drastically cutting hours for employees for years now.  Last time I was there, they were instructing to give full-time employees 32 hours if possible and part-timers had to be below 24 hours.  Those hours being key because full-times had to maintain 32 hours to keep their benefits and over 24 hours Wal-Mart then had to provide benefits for part-timers.

But it wasn’t uncommon for someone to get scheduled for 8 hours a week.

And don’t think for a moment this won’t continue.  A company like Wal-Mart has but one goal – to cut as many benefits, jobs and hours as possible while growing profits.

Granted, they’re not the only company that does this, but they are the largest.  It’s just more disgusting, greedy, pathetic behavior by Wal-Mart to do whatever they can to grow their profits at the expense of their over 2 million employees.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

Comments

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  • Jeff

    In Boerne Texas, they answered on the first ring and electronics on the third.

    • Pipercat

      There isn’t a Sam’s Club in Boerne….

      • Jeff

        Sorry, I called Wal-Mart. I just called Sams club. Its Sunday. They answered on the 3rd ring and electronics on 1st ring. Here is the number. 210 680 9425.

      • Pipercat

        Well shit, call Neiman Marcus, then get back to us…

      • Jeff

        Does that make sense?

      • Pipercat

        Sure doesn’t, now you get the idea!

      • Jeff

        Either you didn’t read the article or your an idiot. I believe it to be the latter.

      • Pipercat

        No Jeffy, what you are doing is called appealing to authority. In fairness, so is the author. It’s a logical fallacy that proves, in your case especially, two wrongs don’t make a right!

      • Jeff

        Ok, I can accept that. Ha ha You’re right. I agree with you. This article lacks credibility and my phone call didn’t prove anything..

      • Pipercat

        Not so fast, although the author creates a straw man, the underlying thesis for the commentary is sound. He just needed to skip the anecdotes and stick with citing the Bloomberg piece. If he had kept the first sentence of the fourth paragraph then skipped the rest, as well as, the fifth paragraph, he could have tucked it in front of the sixth. The Bloomberg piece states sales were up in the third quarter but forecasts were down. Walmart made a personnel move instead of working towards increasing sales. That’s done to bolster stock price, not create efficiencies.

      • Peter Lucas

        Great so you called one place, which could be an anomaly, and they answered quickly. Call another 9 and get back to us with the results.

    • Sam

      Jeff: Is your last name Walton?

      • jeff

        I don’t even shop there if I can help it. I just tried what he said and they answered quickly.

  • MaineWoman

    And you have to be available all the time, so you can’t get another job, even though you may only be scheduled eight hours.

    • Micah

      That’s the thing that bothers me the most. A lot of people ignore this fact. If you’re a parent with kids, or have any other type of responsibility. Open availability isn’t always an option, and you’re punished for it. You’re not even considered for a position without it.

      • Micah

        edit: If you’re a parent (Obviously a parent has kids.)

  • Pipercat

    You gave the answer to this in one simple word, Costco.

  • Don

    “Positioning for growth” means you have more people in place, trained for move-up, not less. Customer service at WalMart/Sams is already horrible, this is just going to make things worse. Oh the Waltons will pocket a few more schekels, but for everyone else (employees and customers) this flat out sucks.

  • 1EdMeadows83

    Why would anyone shop at Sam’s Club or at Walmart’s if a Costco is in the vicinity?

    • jimhummel

      No one.

    • white trash religious teaparty

      ted cruz,,,,sarah palin,,,, michelle Bachmann,,,, glenn beck,,,, sean “puffbelly” Hannity,,,,, michelle ” no tits and haing her life” malkin,,,,, rand paul,,,,,,

    • buricco

      Here there isn’t. But for regular groceries I can go right across the 265 from Wallyworld to Wegmans which is much better.

    • Elli Mussolino Canterbury

      Nope.

  • Margie Lamas

    Employees willing to “Go the extra mile” is what sets one business apart from the other. A happy employee is a good employee. A happy employee will most likely go many extra miles for a job they like. Unhappy employees however, well,you get the picture. All that trickles down to the customer. Spread the wealth and the happiness, it is that simple 🙂

  • Jeff

    It’s America. If someone doesn’t want to work there, they can quit and work somewhere else. Learn a trade or educate yourself. If you better yourself, you can find a better job. Don’t expect to sit on your ass and complain and someone will make your job better because you are entitled to it. BTW, I don’t like Wal-MArt and try not to shop there. I try to use mom and pops when I can.

    • Tracy Rowe

      your response is not only short sighted, it shows a lack of connection to the real world. ‘Better educated’ no longer equates to better jobs. Any fool will tell you that quitting a job in this economic environment is tantamount to suicide. The problem is not laziness, the problem is lack of jobs. And by the way, why would anyone not be entitled to a decent job at a decent wage?

      • Anonymous

        You are right Tracy. I work at a Sam’s Club (for a 3rd party company) and I can say 85% of the employees there are in college or have graduated college.

    • Luis Alfredo Martinez

      Jeff what part of that there is no jobs out there did you not get, there are lots of of college graduates that can not find work and have to accept menial work if they can find any to survive, and you sit there spouting Fox network garbage, go away paid troll.

      • Jeff

        I hate Fox news. I never watch it. I just got a new job. I am always improving my situation. My wife is constantly being recruited. She went to school while raising a family and working full time and got a degree.Sorry if you can’t find a job. Make better decisions.Work hard. Stop blaming everyone else. This is America. Take advantage of it.

      • Luis Alfredo Martinez

        That is the same answer that the rich give to others who are not as fortunate as they are, they seem to live in this glorious cocoon which to them it seems like, I made it so it is your fault that you did not, I call this lack of insensitivity to others, by the way, this is the United States, America is the whole hemisphere, like North, Central and South America which we are a part of, just look at a map, and I still think that you are a paid troll by either the Koch or one of their super pacts.

  • Mrs_oatmeal

    Most people that could find another job would do that. Since there are not other jobs to be had in most parts of the country, it is difficult at best. Many of these people would also try to get a second job if they could, but Wal Mart pretty much blocks them from doing that. They are also told how to apply for food stamps and Medicaid. This is all taken care of by the tax payers. So, tell me exactly how cheap it is to shop at Wal Mart. They really do need some more corporate welfare and another boat, jet, or home…

    • jimhummel

      If only we had a Democrat Congress we might eliminate any federal safety net programs for Walmart employees. They either pay their people more or close up shop.

  • Loren

    Walmart is a dirty company. I worked for them once and they got rid of me because of my seizures. They came up with another reason so it looked legit, but in the end they got rid of me for an illegal reason.

  • Edward Krebbs

    Uh, if you’re positioning youself for future growth, then you know you’ll need more employees to staff the growth and try to keep those employees that are already trained and know your system. I vote liar, liar, pants on fire.

  • Cindy Montville

    I will shop anywhere other than Walmart or Sam’s!! anywhere!!

  • charleo1

    There’s no doubt, this is the toughest economy in 40 years. Especially for
    the low skilled, younger applicants. And it’s no bed of roses for the 50 somethings, either. Who’s jobs, and perhaps the only marketable skill they have, has been lost to outsourcing. It’s honestly not a political issue, the
    economy. When it becomes so, both sides dig in, and block the opposition,
    and nothing gets done. Think about this for a minute. The average age of
    of the fast food worker, one of the poorest paying jobs around, is 29. The
    Big Box Store retailers are having their way with labor. In the wake of the
    deepest, most widespread contraction of the economy, since the 1930s.
    They estimate the total job losses from ’07 when the recession officially
    began, to 2010, when the indicators they look at stopped falling, at 8 to 10
    million jobs. Think about that for a second. There’s just a lot of misery, and
    heartache, and fear involved, when that many people lose the thing that feeds them, and provides a roof over their heads, is just gone one day. And of course, large employers of which WalMart is king, are going to take every advantage of that. It’s frustrating, and God knows, I’m no apologist for them. And, they’re not the least bit sorry, anyway. But come on! What would we expect them to do? Employers, especially corporate employers, have never increased wages, provided any health insurance, funded retirement plans, or hired even one employee more, than would be necessary, out of any sense of responsibility to do anything, but to generate as much profit as possible. Or, I might add, ever lobbied to pay a dime more in taxes than the law demands. The fact they are collectively degrading the same economy they are all trying to squeeze every dime of profit from, is a truth that is at this point, very much beside the point.
    Okay, how many think giving everyone who makes a million dollars a year, an extra 130,000 tax break will help put Americans back to work? That by giving the investor more money, they will expand their businesses, and expanding businesses automatically will increase demand? Is that right? Because, customers on a tight budget prefer to shop at the biggest businesses they can find? It’s true they can afford to sell at a lower price. Who then, is hurt more by low wages, and chronic, long term unemployment? Small business, or WalMart? If both are hurt equally, which one is more likely to go out of business first? If you said Mom, and Pop, I think that’s right. Then, would the largest players, with the richest lobbies, ask their politicians to fix the economy right away? Or, might they calculate, the longer economic doldrums persist, and the more small businesses that fold, the larger the market share will be, that will one day, just fall in their lap? Like I said, it seems totally inappropriate, crazy even, to think politics can rebalance an out of kilter economy. One where the problem is, far too many of the gains produced by the total economy, are being reaped by this very small number of participants at the top. Which is fine for them. Nothing wrong with being fabulously wealthy. It’s really all about the money not circulating in the economy. And without the politics, that could be fixed. Doing the right things to improve our economy is not hard. The politics of doing the right things to fix our economy, is what’s proven to be so hard.

  • Bev

    I live in a small town and the local Taco bell had a handicapped man that had worked there for years cleaning tables, stocking and greeting customers. One day I saw him pushing a broom at Walmart. Seems Taco Bell had fired him because he couldn’t work the register too. He told me they were good to him at Walmart.

  • rossbro

    Layoffs must happen so upper management can get bigger bonuses.

  • Stephen Atchison

    It’s not greed, it’s capitalism. That’s how it works. The function of a company is to be as profitable as possible. Full stop.

    • Jordon Oldfather

      Won’t be profitable if no one shops there cuz it sucks so hard