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Wal-Mart Associates
Katrina! What have you done? 
31st-Aug-2005 10:04 am
MT: The One: Boo
So, I'm part of the EOC team here at the Home Office, and I figured I'd share some info that I do know:

Store 5079, Pass Christian, MI
There is 1/2 of 1 wall left. The only items that were found were an item from the cash office, and 1 camera from the roof.

Store 1088, Biloxi, MI
The roof had 30+ holes in it. The whole backwall is gone, which means that receiving is gone and all of the offices.

Store 1195, Waveland, MI
Had 19 feet of water. Of course most, if not all the merchandise is destroyed and everything has been moved around, i.e. the meat freezers, etc.

Currently, there are no reports of injuries to associates. A number of associates have called in on the 800 support line and been routed to American Red Cross shelters or other safe havens. The Enhanced Associate Emergency Information Line is active with operators from the People Division staffing the phones to support an estimated 20,000 displaced associates and there families. The questions associates are asking range from sheltering, to employment, to facility status, to payroll, to community updates. The Foundation and People Division are working towards a long term solution for associate issues.

Currently, there are 56 facilities closed (39 Supercenters, 2 Neighborhood Markets, 6 Sam's Clubs, 8 Division 1 Stores, 1 DC). This is an improvement from the 62 facilities that were closed at the last update. Most of the closure issues revolve around power issues that are expected to be long term. Another 5-10 facilities are expected to reopen this morning.

This is from update 23 and a field rep that called in.
31st-Aug-2005 03:38 pm (UTC)
how what is going on with payroll? Are the employees being paid right now or are they losing money even more now?
31st-Aug-2005 08:27 pm (UTC)
From my understanding, is that they'll still get paid for this time. Based on the average number of hours that they work in a typical/comparable week.
31st-Aug-2005 04:05 pm (UTC)
i'm referring to the storm
31st-Aug-2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
What's great is that you can't really argue with the fact that we take care of our own.
1st-Sep-2005 02:25 am (UTC)
What's great is that you can't really argue with the fact that we take care of our own.

To a point. I'm sure home office treats their employees better than other stores do, including mine. And if the company is helping with the disaster then thats great. Keep up the great work. But recently i'm reading about how town after town is turning walmart down, because of how it operates. (low pay, poor health coverage, shuts down locally owned stores, etc.) What boggles me is how walmart ABSOLUTLY MUST re-open as soon as possible to make money. I'd worry more about my family, friends, neighboors, before I worried if walmart was open. I'm sure with the billions and billions of dollars the company makes, and has, it can afford to have a few stores closed, seeing as how most stores make millions of dollars anyway.
1st-Sep-2005 02:54 am (UTC)
I really cant figure out why people wouldnt want walmart in thier town?, They say that thier towns will go broke and it will screw the smaller stores. But my town has had a walmart for almost 15 years, and my little town has grown bigger and bigger each year, stores we wouldve never dreamed of getting 10 years ago are finally makeing thier way into our area. In 2007 we are getting a supercenter, most everyone I've talked to is excited. My store has been putting in bids for land for quite a long time.

When it comes to My wage, we get paid more at walmart than most other jobs in my city. When I came to walmart I started off at $6.50 an hour as a garden center temp, my boyfriend started at Kmart as a part time floor associate for $5.15 (he was way more qualified than I was). He got 15 hours a week, I had 40. If thiers such a big deal about people not wanting to work at walmart, why is the application computer in layaway always occupied?.
1st-Sep-2005 11:30 pm (UTC)
People don't want Wal-Mart because they buy into all that crap that the Unions / Other Business owners feed.

The truth is, Wal-Mart is a corporation, and if you don't like it, you shouldn't like a lot of companies.
3rd-Sep-2005 12:32 am (UTC)
People don't want Wal-Mart because they buy into all that crap that the Unions / Other Business owners feed.

So then how come some stuff walmart says about unions are totally false, and some stuff the union says is false? Are they (walmart & unions) in some huge battle?

Take this one for example Penguin001. Last december was great for our bike sales at my store, and management wanted it full at all times possible. I can totally understand that, seeing as how empty slots equals no sales. What I can't understand is a co-manager screaming at the top of their lungs saying, YOU WILL NOT LEAVE UNTIL THAT BIKE RACK IS 100% FULL!!!!!. From what I read NO MANAGER can tell you when you can and can't leave. If it is your scheduled time to leave, then that is when you leave. So I can't understand also how dealing with that co-manager open-door policy wise, is supposed to make you feel all happy inside one day, because they're not yelling at you then? This is what pisses people off to either quit, or look toward a union. Isn't it a policy at walmart that there is to be no cussing allowed whatsoever?? If that is so, then why would the same co-manager slam a door shut, and scream F this and F that every 4th word?? Maybe the Better Business Bureau can help me out. Isn't it considered a health violation when rotting food is left in the compactor for days on end, that when you get so close to it, it makes you gag, and want to throw up? I might have to call OSHA if that is true.

Okay, so this is probably just all small, pathetic stuff i'm talking about. But it doesn't just happen at my store. It happens all over the world. Maybe a union isn't good for walmart, maybe it is. What I believe would HONESTLY sway workers away from a union or even quitting because of the aforementioned problems, have representitives from HO visit each of these "problem stores" and sit with the associates and gather information on why the associates feel the way they do. Then, solve the problems at those stores, and I almost guarantee the associates will feel better about their jobs. I know people at my store and at other stores who are late to work every so often, just because of the constant bashing, and accumulated stress from their managers. I have worked for many businesses in my lifetime, and I have never ever seen managers deal with their employees in such a way that I am recently seeing.

Accordingly, I cannot see how full-time employees working 40 hour work weeks are scheduled to work 32 or even 20 hour work weeks, because of payroll. This is the only company i've to work for that has done this. 6 months ago maybe, we were told in a meeting that 100 and some people had to be sent home early because of payroll. It's because that store isn't making enough sales, and management decides to cutback on employee scheduling to save their ass. It's not right. And these are some of the reasons why employees say, maybe a union will be better. Yes I know all about unions. Dues, fees, and how they work.
3rd-Sep-2005 01:11 am (UTC)
You know, at first, I was kinda bitter at the fact that you're Anonymously posting, but then I realized, there are more important things.

Wal-Mart and it's policies are good, however, individual stores are awful. I did come from the store, and I remember things biting hard core. I remember when the front end manager got pissed at me because I would work as close to 40 hours as possible, even if I was scheduled for 32. I would volunteer for random things, getting extra time.

Truth is, when you sign up for Wal-Mart, you only have to work 32 hours to be considered full time. If you're working less than that as a full time person. Contact your Store Mgr. Not cool with that? Contact your DM.

If the crap you listed is still happening in your store, and that same mgr still has a job. Let me know your store # and the managers name. I'll report both the store and the manager's name myself. The reason so much happens at the store level is because (and this is how I feel) the higher ups are so concerned with their job and what's coming down, that they forget about what Sam said made this a great company: the associates in the store.

As a HO person, and a salaried member of management, I work for you. If you see stuff going on, use the open door. If you don't feel safe talking to anyone in the store, or things aren't getting taken care of, go up the chain.

For example: We had a system down. Our manager didn't do anything. Then our director. We ended up going to one level below Lee Scott. Linda Dilman ring any bells? Yeah, our CIO. It took a bit, but things got fixed.

I'm not anti-union, I feel that they have their place. However, in a company as big as Wal-Mart, I feel that doing a union would be counter-productive.

Stores frequently treat the important people like crap. It shouldn't be tolerated. I'm not talking about personality conflicts, but stuff that actually breaks Wal-Mart policy (which includes health codes and labor laws).

Those that know me that I'm violating my own code of life by working where I do, but at the same time, on the whole, they do a lot of great things. On the small scale, they act like the capitlistic selfish corporation that they are. And it should be the other way around.
3rd-Sep-2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
You know, at first, I was kinda bitter at the fact that you're Anonymously posting

I'm not a registered Livejournal user or anything. And I always am fearing retaliation from the managers at my store. The issues I spoke of with that co-manager hasn't happened since then. They've since moved to the grocery side, so I'm not sure how they're dealing with that side. There was something I remembered today about another problem we had with the co-manager.

As I mentioned about bike sales, and empty slots. Well after a while of screaming and whatnots, the co-manager would ask us how soon we'd have the bike rack full, and we would say that were building bikes as quick as possible to fill the rack, and we will do our best to fill it. The co-manager would get all upset over what our response was, and said, that's not good enough. Following that the co would say, I want you guys to come to me with a plan of action that you are going to do each day to fill that bike rack, and to make sure it stays full. Me and my friend would look at each other puzzled, as the only plan of action we had was either pulling bikes from the hooks, which we did everyday, and building bikes, which we did everyday. So what did the co-manager mean then? What else was there that we could have done?

The day I mentioned about the co screaming and saying no one was allowed to leave until the rack was full, the co would come back and apologize, and said thats just how they are, and dont take it personally. Sort of like the co was trying to tell me what they thought I wanted to hear, when in fact, I personally didnt forgive this person for doing what they did. I would shake my head and say ok, ok. But i'm still very upset at the fact of what the co did to my friend and I was totally uncalled for.

Just recently, one of the guys from 2nd shift receiving was complaining about how an assistant manager came back to "check up" on their progress, and had said to the one receiver that the truck WOULD be unloaded no later than 5pm. He says it'll be done by 4:45pm. The receivers get the trucks done by 4:45pm, and the receiver approaches the manager and said, trucks are done. He said, told ya. And the assistant manager replies, i'll let you have that one. That isn't right either. Our managers are, in my opinion, using pressure and intimidating workers, maybe not every day, but at least once a week.

3rd-Sep-2005 10:13 pm (UTC) - part 2
It's not every manager either. There are some that you can hold a conversation with, and feel good and have a good, productive day. But there are other one's that you try and talk with, and everytime all they can focus on is you, as an employee, getting the work done. And it makes you feel like shit. I read somewhere that managers that do this holler at associates, making them upset, which will increase work performance. I hope that this is just the manager doing that, and not a company wide thing or whatever. I used to get the same way, but lately the managers I have now are very nice and friendly. From time to time the one manager I have will ask me how things are going and how the rack is looking. So i'll explain about the rack, and how i'm doing personally. And he just has a good attitude about it all.

One other thing that i'm worried about going higher up, is retaliation against me, for speaking of a fellow associate, who is not qualified to do the job he is positioned in, and I have spoke with just about every single manager there, including the Store manager, and this associate is still there. Before my friend left this associate was back there for about 3 months, this was at the time we still had the one co-manager I was talking about. He told the co-manager that he felt that the associate was properly trained, but could not do the job at a full 100%. The co-manager had told him he needs to give it more than 3 months. What the problem here is that the associate was trained by my friend who was head of bike assembly, I also trained him, as well as my other friend. The associate cannot build any bike the proper way he was trained. We each trained him the same exact things, like how to straighten a rim or how to tighten the headbolt for the handlebars. And what adds to this is we had an associate in assembly before who had one of his bikes returned to the store, and the customer was hospitalized because of the bike not being properly assembled. When me and my store manager spoke of filling his part time position with a full time person, the store manager said we'd need to keep the current associate until we could find a replacement. The thing of it is, is that even with the associate there, now, it sets us back. It'd be better for him to be removed from the department, seeing as how we have to repair his bikes that are messed up, we get in numerous repair bikes, and returned bikes, because they are not being properly assembled. And i'm afraid of retaliation from the store manager mostly because he wanted to keep him back there when he is in fact not qualified to do the job the right way.
1st-Sep-2005 11:34 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'll admit we get treated well. And WM is helping quite a bit with the disaster. And though most stores make millions, you know that's not all profit, right? For instance, our electrical bill is $70 Million dollars a month. And that's one of our smallest monthly bills.

Those stores being closed actually will cost us money, as we're going to have the same number of associates working, but with fewer stores to support them. Which means those stores will hit a loss, and may I point out that the WM stores alone aren't experiencing any sort of progress this year, so it could possibly mean that profits from Sam's will be the thing that saves the corporation's butt this year. Oh, and over seas where Unions and BS groups haven't started trying to shut us down until just this past week.
31st-Aug-2005 09:33 pm (UTC) - New Orleans to West Monroe, baby!
Several associates came into our store today and filled out their paperwork to work at our store because it's going to be a LONG time before they can go back home. One lady had her 3 kids and was staying at a hotel, but had no money for another night....so, one of our associates took them in and now she has ajob at our store! Yea!!! Go WALMART!!! -Terri
1st-Sep-2005 12:41 am (UTC)
it pisses me off to see people waiting for help to come and help them, there is towsands of people needing help, I wish they would understnad and have some paitence, but then Im not there, so I got no say
1st-Sep-2005 02:16 am (UTC)
i read this and was confused. i saw MI and was thinking Michigan since the abbreviation for michigan is MI....but then i noticed biloxi and realized it was mississippi...whose abbreviation is MS. sorry i had to point it out.
1st-Sep-2005 02:25 am (UTC)
I was about to say the same thing! I'm an English Major and I can't stand it, but the post was interesting. :)
1st-Sep-2005 03:04 am (UTC)
No worries. I honestly didn't think about it. I'll bring it up tomorrow and (most of us) we'll have a good laugh about it.
1st-Sep-2005 04:01 pm (UTC) - Store 1353 Harahan, La
Can someone please tell me what condition the harahan store is in, and i have been staying in a hotel in Arkansas. I would like to know who i can contact about my paycheck beacuse money is getting low. I last heard that Jefferson Parish will not let anyone back in for a month. Which means no work for that long.
1st-Sep-2005 11:07 pm (UTC) - Re: Store 1353 Harahan, La
Call home office! They need to know WHERE you are so they can send your check to you. If you can't go home for a long time...you could see about transferring to a store there where you are staying. Like I posted earlier....SEVERAL people are doing this. I had heard that WalMart employees will still get paid until their store is rebuilt or something. Like...your paycheck is an average of what you would normally work in a week. Has anyone else heard something similar like this?
1st-Sep-2005 11:27 pm (UTC) - Re: Store 1353 Harahan, La
ojosdegato is correct, call the home office. We have an emergency relief hotline number for you to call about your pay check. I don't know it off hand, but 1-800-Walmart should be able to get it for you.

We will send the checks to a specific store if yours is closed, and that store will then mail your check to where you want it (another WM/Sam's is preferred, but they will even send it to your house).

Also, as a displaced associate, you can go to an open Wal-Mart/Sam's and talk to a member of management. You likely qualify for $250 up front, and up to $750 on top of that which will be wired to you (to a wal-mart) within 3 days.

Also, you can start working at another store until yours opens. I actually took phone calls today from people in 1353, all of which were ok.

If you go to here, you can search someone's last name to see if they've called in and reported being ok. I would suggest you do that as well.

The key thing is to get to a WM and report in that you okay, then they will help you get back on your feet.
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