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'Wal-Mart Says Thank You To Workers,' With A Nice Big Slap In The Face

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Wal-Mart, which, in recent months, has taken away stools from older cashiers in order to encourage them to quit, required workers—including those with young children—to be on call 24 hours a day, and seen its stocks fall the most since July, has decided to make some changes. It’s going to start appreciating its workers more, and not because it's been widely criticized for failing miserably to do so in the past and not because that may be a reason why people don’t want to shop there anymore (which relates back to the thing with the stocks). Just because, you know, that’s what good people do, and Wal-Mart is nothing if not run by good people. What follows is one of the ways Wal-Mart is going to start being nicer to its workers. Keep in mind that someone (or probably a bunch of someones) were brought in to come up with this idea, probably sat around a conference table for a while, probably had to work late a bunch of nights, before someone snapped his fingers and said, “you know what, I’ve got it,” everyone else said “hey, you, I think you do got it,” and, finally, someone else, who signs off on things like this, came in, said, “wow, this is great work guys,” and put his name on a dotted line, authorizing this great, humanitarian idea:

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. Sarah Clark, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, said the program was a “a more formalized, contemporary approach” to communicating with and collecting feedback from its fast-growing work force.
Asked if absence for a family emergency, like a sick child, would be authorized, Kory Uselton [a 35-year-old overnight floor cleaner at a Wal-Mart in Tyler, Tex.] recounted, his manager said, “No, it’s not.”

Wal-Mart Says Thank You to Workers [NY Times]