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Demerit Wal-Mart!

December 16, 2009  |  Share

This Holiday Season-give Wal-Mart the Demerits they Deserve!

An exciting new development!  A growing coalition is forming to challenge Wal-Marts punitive sick leave policies.  Over 35,000 people have already signed on!

The National Labor Committee is teaming up with MomsRising, Wake Up Wal-Mart, United Steelworkers Women of Steel, 9to5 and many others [See full list] to gather over 100,000 signatures/demerits to be delivered to Wal-Mart executives in Bentonville, Arkansas.  Especially during the flu pandemic, the goal is to reform Wal-Marts draconian healthcare policies which are particularly punishing to working mothers, who have no choice but to report to work sick, forced to put their job ahead of their childrens well being.   Wal-Mart shoppers are also routinely exposed to flu and other sicknesses.

As of early December, 32 states are still reporting widespread swine flu activity, with nearly 700 children already killed.  It is possible a new flu season will emerge in January, with the swine flu and seasonal flu running simultaneously.  The seasonal flu is more deadly to older people while the H1N1 virus is more deadly to children.

Working together we can shame Wal-Mart into improving its health care and sick leave policies, and when we accomplish this, other companies will have to follow.

Please Act Now!   Make this a holiday season of conscious, by raising our voices and asking your family, friends, and coworkers to sign the petition! Ask your organization to endorse the campaign!

If enough of us take the time to do the right thing we will win!

Along with signing on you can also post your comments.

Wal-Mart workers in Florida are still being fired for having the flu.

  • Please keep me anonymous. A co-worker recently came down with the flu about less than a month ago. He missed 4 days and was issued a coaching. A coaching is a written warning about attendance. This can affect pay and also his ability to keep his job. Any further coachings can be termination due to him getting sick. He cannot call in sick for at least 180 days after the last incident. His "sick" attendance coaching will remain with him for a whole year from the time it was issued. So if he is to even get swine flu after the 180 day revolving period is over, he still risks another coaching which will result in a D-Day. Which is a decision day whether he wants to keep his job. This just happened even though Wal-Mart announced that no one will lose their job. This is an unkept promise from Wal-Mart and is risking the public when people shop at Wal-Mart. (November 17, 2009)
  • I work for Walmart. Associates are still being written up for taking time from illness such as the flu. If you miss 3 days for being sick in a 180 rotating time frame you still will be given either a verbal warning or written warning for your attendance. Do not believe what corporate is telling you, they are still having the managers "coach" (written warning) for taking time off for their flu illness. (November 30, 2009)

Shopper in Texas contracted flu at Wal-Mart Store

  • I applaud your article exposing the sick leave policy for Wal-Mart employees or rather the lack thereof. Last November, as a Wal-Mart customer, I purchased supplies for Thanksgiving. A young checker looked up as she began sacking my groceries with a look of complete fear and simply said, "I cant breathe." She was quite ill. As she licked her fingers and opened all my plastic grocery sacks, the only thought running through my mind was oh no! Thanksgiving night, I began feeling as if I had the flu. To make a very long story short, I was house bound for 7 weeks and made 2 trips to the local hospital in an attempt to overcome influenza unlike any other I had ever had before as I was a kindergarten teacher for years so I most definitely had my share of bouts with the flu. Living in Texas, I believe what I encountered at Wal-Mart was the H1N1 virus as I am still hoarse almost a year later. After a quick review of the data on the CDCs website, I believe my claim to be supported as it would appear that the death rate for influenza was quite high last winter and I do not believe the theory that this disease began with a child in Mexico. I contacted Wal-Mart numerous times and stated that I felt they were irresponsible in having a sick employee infect all the people whom she assisted that day. This fall at my local Wal-Mart has been no better. Sick employees work as greeters. I am of the opinion that the H1N1 virus was most definitely in circulation last winter with its Petri dish being Wal-Mart! Thank you for your diligence in exposing the policies of a corporation that truly endangers the health and well-being of its customers and employees! (November 13, 2009)

Shopper Reports Wal-Mart to Department of Health

  • I saw something a Walmart that was not right. A employee was sitting up front on the register, and she keep picking up a bucket, when i looked closely she was vomiting in it. Thats terrible when you have to go to work and be sick, or get fired. I reported it to the health dept. Wal mart should be ashamed of themselves, with all the money they make they should treat there employees better, Cause with out employees wal mart wont make money. And this store was in Arkansas,

Wal-Mart Policy Change on H1N1 Virus is Fake:   Wal-Mart Workers and Shoppers continue to be routinely exposed to serious contagious illnesses

Under pressure for their punitive sick leave policies, which result in driving employees to work no matter how sick they are, Wal-Mart recently announced that no Wal-Mart associate would be fired for having the H1N1 virus, nor would they be punished with a demerit and loss of eight hours wages.  Wal-Mart only took this step after the National Labor Committee released a report, "Wal-Marts Sick Leave Policy Risks Spreading Swine Flu/Retail Giant Flouts Recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control" (November 3, 2009), which was picked up by the media, including ABCs Good Morning America , The New York Times , Washington Post and others.

Following discussions with Wal-Mart employees in Idaho, Florida, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania, we can categorically state that Wal-Marts announced policy changes to contain the spread of the H1N1 virus are a complete fake.  Not a single Wal-Mart employee we have spoken with has been informed of Wal-Marts supposed policy changes.  No new policy directive from Bentonville has been distributed to the workers, nor have local store managers made any mention of a new policy.

For the workers, nothing has changed.  They continue to drag themselves to work sick so as not to receive a demerit, lose wages or come under disciplinary actions, including possible termination.  Sick workers continue to spread contagious illnesses to other Wal-Mart employees and shoppers.

Wal-Marts announced policy on curbing the spread of the H1N1 virus was not only a fake, it was disingenuous.  The H1N1 virus is certainly serious, but so is the seasonal flu, which kills an average of 36,000 Americans each year.  Conjunctivitis, strep throat, the 24-hour virus are all serious contagious illnesses.  Any serious sick leave policy would also have to accommodate car accidents, a broken leg, a child who broke his arm at school.  Facing negative media, a popular grassroots campaign and several initiatives in Washington to better legislate sick leave policy, Wal-Mart did the minimum -announcing a fake sick leave policy that was limited to the H1N1 swine flu.  Wal-Mart has so far failed to tell its employees of any policy change and has left intact its punitive sick leave policies for every other illness and accident.

Wal-Mart workers continue to speak out.  You can see their comments on our website.



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