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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Sherry

A blue collared shirt at Walmart is 12 bucks. Buy 1 shirt and wear is every day.

October 14 2014 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
oysterclam

Sounds like the Navy. Every few years, some Admirals wife would ike a unifrm change. Millions went into designing the new unoform, then EVERYONE, officer to enlisted had to buy new uniforms......

STUPID....

WalMart is NOT a high end operation, and should BUY the new "uniform" tops.....then maybe require them to replace when worn.

Its not like they lack the dollars to do right by the employees..

Is WalMart one of the top ten best places to work for? I think not.....

October 14 2014 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe Tauke

Why should the company buy their clothes? I work for a company that requires business casual dress akin this, and they certainly didn't pay for any part of it.

October 14 2014 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joe Tauke's comment
oysterclam

You obviously don't work for peanuts/minimum wage......

October 14 2014 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
strut

ONCE AGAIN, THIS UNIFORM CHANGE IS THE IDEA OF SOME SIX(6) FIGURE SALARY EXE., WHO SITS MOST OF THE DAY IN A PLUSH AIR CONDITIONED OFFICE. HE MUST JUSTIFY MAKING THOSE 6 FIGURES, SO HE OR SHE PLAYS IT SAFE AND THINKS OF SOMETHING THAT SCREWS THE BOTTOM OF THE LADDER EMPLOYEE. THEY DON'T HAVE THE POWER TO FIGHT BACK, SO THERE IS NO PROBLEM SH---NG ON THE LITTLE GUY. THE SIX FIGURE PERSON GETS A BONUS FOR SUCH A GREAT IDEA AND THE LITTLE GUT BUYS LESS FOOD FOR THE MONTH. "YOU'RE DOING A GREAT JOB BROWNIE"

October 10 2014 at 6:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PAT DEEL

If Walmart insists on making their employees use certain clothes, then let WALMART foot the bill!!!! Don't make the worker pay for things that are not necessary to begin with. Most employees barely earn enough to make ends meet as it is!!

October 09 2014 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
larrito

The republicans will always say you are a bunch of ungrateful winers. Don't let them bother you. The wealthy and their corporations make sure that the government that they own, brings in more immigrants than there are jobs for, which keeps the wages low. People who have money will never SHARE equitably. That's pretty much what is the US economic system, always has been. It's simple, if you are not wealthy, or not from a wealthy family, you NEED TO VOTE DEMOCRAT! Then, maybe, you might be able to take the government back from the greedy aholes that have bought our government, and actually have a government that does what the PEOPLE want. But I doubt that will ever happen, and they know that. As long as the 'working class' continue to believe that 'sharing' myth and continue voting for their republican benefactors, things will never change. It's still the best country to live in, you just have to be on the winning side.

October 08 2014 at 10:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to larrito's comment
OnlyMyOpine

LOL WalMart needs to buy their shirts. Totally burdensome policy. Do NOT re-elect any dems unless you need the government to make your decisions for you! Poor peeps still cannot afford health insurance! Vote REPUBLICAN if you believe that you can make better decisions for yourself and your family than some over compensated lying politician.

October 09 2014 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gwompa1220

voltran IS AN IGNORANT IDIOT & when he is standing out in the cold I hope a train runs over the ignorant bastard!

October 07 2014 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fjc1008

if wally mart had any class they would provide uniforms FREE cheap bastards

October 07 2014 at 10:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Michael

I have a dress code at my jobs and spend hundreds of dollars if not more than a thousand a year to dress appropriately. One thing no one has mentioned that clothes and shoes purchased for employment is tax deductible. Not that it helps immediately but, you should get that money back in your taxes as long as you keep the receipts.

September 30 2014 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Michael's comment
oysterclam

You get a SMALL portion of your money back.....like 15% if lower income....or NO benefit if you're BELOW that...because you cannot deduct anything unless you make enough money.....

Go back to school and become a CPA fool.....

October 14 2014 at 10:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Buster

As a single mother working for Walmart as part time temporary holiday employment . It is not feasible for me to pay for my uniforms and vest earning just minimum wage. I need to use that money on necessity.

September 30 2014 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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