Walmart ended more than a week's worth of poor publicity before announcing that it was "best possible" to find a role for disabled workers who had been threatened with job losses that the dealer gets rid of greeters at 1000 stores. 19659002] In a fierce setback, Greg Foran, president and chief executive of Walmart's US stores, said in a memorandum about saving executives Thursday night that "we take some concrete steps to support" greeters with disabilities. The chain noted that several greeters were offered new jobs at their respective stores and accepted.
Parents of the disabled said Walmart does the right move.
"By reconsidering its action, Walmart is now opening the door to actually helping individuals realize their full employment potential," said Cheryl Bates-Harris, senior disability advocacy expert on the Network of National Disability Rights.
Walmart told greeters around the country last week that their posts were eliminated in late April in favor of an extended "customer host" role that not only includes welcoming customers but also helps return, check receipts to prevent shop elevation and keep the front of the store clean. The position requires the hosts to lift heavy weights, climb ladders, and do other tasks.
People with disabilities who have traditionally filled the greeter job in many stores, accuse Walmart of acting heartlessly. Rebelled customers and others started online petitions, formed Facebook support groups, and called and sent Walmart offices in Bentonville, Arkansas, to record their discontent.
"This was a great-league botch," said Craig Johnson, president of customer Growth Partners, a retail consultant, adding that Walmart should have predicted public reaction.
"Someone finally woke up," Johnson said. "Hopefully they are now awakened and they will fix this thing the right way … The good news is that it is reversible."
For his part, Walmart said that Foran's memo did not signal a change of direction for the company but was intended to reinforce what had already been done for workers displaced from the greeter job and remove misinformation.
The front recognized the change from greeter to the host, and its influence on disabled workers had "created a conversation". He wrote that Walmart was obliged to do the right by these employees and noticed that greeters with disabilities would be given longer than the usual 60 days to find other jobs in the company.
"Let me be clear: If someone is affiliated with this unique situation will continue to work at Walmart, we should do our utmost to make it happen," said his note, which Walmart published publicly.
Walmart has already started making job offers for greeters. At least three long-term greeters ̵
Catlin's mother, Holly Catlin, helped call public attention to the son's situation with a passionate Facebook post and has since told the greeters around the country. After sending email to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon every day, Catlin received a phone call from the corporate office on Thursday, and on Friday morning she and her son met their business management in Selinsgrove.
"I decided I should be the squeaky wheel and beep every day," said Catlin, and let her encourage Walmart's latest moves. "I think the way ahead will be good for these people. I think they really should make an effort and try to keep these people."
In North Carolina, Melton is "happier than a pig in a mud flush," his father, Jim Melton, said.
In front, leading Walmart's American stores, wrote that greeters with disabilities "face a unique situation … and each case requires a thoughtful solution." He said Walmart's goal is to offer "appropriate accommodation that allows these employees can continue in other roles with their store. "