By Julia Conley
February 21, 2020
Walmart workers issued a “wake up call” to Alice Walton, an heir to the retailer’s $500 billion fortune, in New York on Tuesday by marching to Walton’s New York penthouse and demanding her company pay its 1.5 million workers a living wage and give them reliable, stable work schedules.
The protest was partially a response to the company’s so-called “Great Workplace” restructuring initiative which Walmart began testing last year and plans to roll out in at least 1,100 of its 5,300 U.S. stores by the end of 2020.
According to internal documents obtained by the Washington Post Tuesday, employees are bracing for job cuts under the program, which will consolidate multiple workers’ responsibilities into single roles with hourly pay staying the same or even going down in some cases.
“Associates worry Walmart is using the ‘Great Workplace’ to cut costs by reducing overall staffing and the general number of mid-level store managers,” said United for Respect in a press statement. “Walmart has deliberately been pursuing a part-time strategy for more than a decade. In 2005, 80% of Walmart’s associates were full-time. By 2018, an estimated 50% of Walmart’s U.S. workforce were part-time.”