Low-Wage Walmart Workers Angry Over New Uniform Mandate

Walmart reminds them they can save 10 percent!

Wal-Mart Employees Angered By New Dress Code
On a day when low-wage workers plan strikes in 150 cities because of pay rates and short hours, many Walmart employees have something new to stoke their anger: a changed dress code forcing them to buy new clothing, according to Gawker. And they've been sounding off on internal company online forums.

The "new look" for customer service personnel, as a Walmart.com website page explains, includes "collared navy blue or white shirts, khaki or black pants, capris, skirts or skorts." And, to help ease the burden, as Gawker reports, Walmart has reminded employees that they can buy the products from the store and "apply your 10 percent associate discount for an additional savings," or even get them online. Walmart is paying for the vests it will require employees to wear.

Some employees are apparently unhappy. Walmart workers can leave comments about company policies on an internal website. Someone leaked some of the contents to Gawker. Here are verbatim examples of some alleged comments:

I work 2 jobs Walmart is my part time job but I work these 2 jobs for a reason, to take care of my family. It is pretty bad that my full time job is a administrative assistant in a law office and I can wear jeans there, but I can't wear jeans in a grocery store. This whole mess is just non-sense.

Ive been at Walmart 21 yrs and i tend to keep buying better quality clothing other than the standard polo for a better appearance at work and it seems like its a waste of my money to keep changing the dress code and we are not given any clothing allowance or given 2 shirts for free.

With all due respect to the company, this is more of a financial burden to our family since this is our only source of income with my wife and two kids. We can hardly afford to live on my income now with us having to pay for a new uniform (aside from the vest). It's silly. The uniform we have now works. Why change it?


According to Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg, part of the old dress code was khaki trousers, which would still be allowed. The sticking point is blue or white collared shirts.

"We're certainly hearing from our associates," Lundberg told AOL Jobs. But we're [also] hearing from a large number of associates who are looking forward to the new dress code." He said that Walmart began to inform employees in July about the upcoming changes so they would have time to prepare and purchase the shirts.

Although Walmart's average full-time wage is $12.92, according to its corporate website, many workers make well below that number and approximately 40 percent of the company's workers are part-time.

However, many Walmart workers have near-minimum wage incomes, which is why some have complained that updating a wardrobe for work is a burden. "The wages that Walmart pays are competitive with any other retailer out there," Lundberg said. "You can't hire good people if you're not [paying] competitively."

He also said that markets determine wages. However, it would be more accurate to say that markets effectively determine lowest wages, as retail is notorious for being a poorly-paying industry. Companies can choose to pay employees more. For example, Costco starts employees at $11.50 an hour and the average hourly wage is $21.

Walmart's annual report for its most recently completed year showed a profit of more than $16 billion.

> 'Made in America' Walmart Gets Uniform Vests From Middle East

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amy

Walmart is all ****** up, i work over night for $9.60hr from 10pm-7am and they over work us we need more people but their not willing to pay for more people to come in or everyone who comes in leaves on their lunch break and never come back. Get coached for having overtime but their the ones who don't let us go home at 7:00am until everything is zoned. We definitely need to be paid more, if they don't **** the dress code. I'm wearing leggings and a navy t-shirt which is what I've been doing. They can't afford to lose me :)
My second job is okay though :)
Things I have to do in order to have money in my pocket and pay bills :)

14 hours ago Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
amy

Walmart is all bullshit, i work for $9.60hr
and over night.

14 hours ago Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sue

Been at Walmart over 20 years and have been through many uniform changes. I don't get it. You may only need to purchase a few shirts as no one says you have to wear black pants, that is just an added option to you. The thing is I bet a lot of the ones complaining don't have a problem buying cigarettes .

Friday at 11:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tabatha Jene Killen

We just spent $100 on my husbands uniform (just one) he Is a big guy and can't shop at Walmart so the 10% discount doesn't mean **** he works over night and was told navy blue t-shirt and jeans was OK now outta no where we have to go find a new uniform and spend $50 every couple months to replace it sense stocking puts holes in his shirts I don't see why they can't just make the uniforms the same and throw the vest on even if we had to pay for it I'd rather spend $20 on a ******* vest then $100 on a whole uniform

He's been there 5 years and is just now making $10hr I personally hate Walmart and their off the limb decisions that affect millions of families u think being the largest company in America u can afford to actually let your employees make a living

Wednesday at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tabatha Jene Killen's comment
voltran

It's not Wal-Mart's fault your husband is "a big man". It's a companies right to mandate whatever dress code they want, if you don't like it work somewhere else. It's a harsh reality, I don't like it, but that's the truth.
By big man, I hope you mean tall, if you're referring to an eating problem, then I have no sympathy.

10 hours ago Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DJ Homeless

Walmart is a shithole. And that's saying something because I'm homeless!

Tuesday at 6:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
stlthprincess

After making people buy new uniforms, they are cutting hours in a lot of stores. It looks like we are also paying for the vest.

Tuesday at 8:36 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jon_marcia7172

I work at walmart i am ok with new dress code but it is really hard to be able to purchase clothes when our hours are being cut we never know from one week to the next if we will get the hours we are supposed to get we have one good will store in our city everyone went there for the shirts none to be found our work dress code is also our school dress code very hard to find now

Tuesday at 7:29 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Joe

Every place has a dress code or uniforms stop crying or quit I am sure there are plenty of people who will gladly take your place !!!!!

September 22 2014 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joe's comment
tony

Ya vole there hoey.

Thursday at 12:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jai.hye

NEED KHAKI PANTS: Please check out your local Humane Society thrift shop if you have one. There is a Humane Society Thrift Shop in North Florida with a TON of khakis to be had.....you will be fulfilling your need and helping the animals as well.

September 21 2014 at 6:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Lynette

I'm so sick of listening to these complaints. I work at Walmart and I've worn a navy blue polo and khaki pants for the last 7 years. The only thing different now is I will wear a vest. No additional cost to me at all. If these employees had been wearing the proper type uniforms all along they wouldn't have anything to complain about

September 20 2014 at 5:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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