Economy

Disabled Greeters Accept New Roles at Walmart

Disabled Greeters Accept New Roles at Walmart”

The chain noted that several greeters were offered new jobs at their respective stores and accepted.

The transition will occur in late April and affect employees at 1,000 stores across the country.

Although the big box chain has always been a subject of criticism for labor practices and negatively impacting communities, the role of People Greeter has typically been lauded as going to those who may find it hard to find employment elsewhere, such as the disabled and elderly.

But even in the absence of a pressing legal issue, Walmart's pledge to deal with each case directly registered with some as a belated public relations fix.

A number of outraged customers and other online users had rallied behind the impacted workers this week, prompting the launch of online petitions, support groups on Facebook and complaints sent directly to the retailer's corporate address.

Acknowledging the change had "created some conversation", Foran wrote: "Let me be clear: If any associate in this unique situation wants to continue working at Walmart, we should make every effort to make that happen". During a pilot phase of the initiative, the company said that over 80 percent of greeters found new positions with the retailer, many of which were promotions.

People with disabilities who have traditionally filled the greeter job at many stores accused Walmart of acting heartlessly.

Supporters of Jay Melton, a Walmart greeter in Marion, North Carolina, who has cerebral palsy, took to the Internet to protest the change.

"I'm going to be sitting by the self-checkout, promoting the self-checkout and saying hi to the people", Adam said.

Foran, who heads Walmart's USA stores, wrote that greeters with disabilities "face a unique situation. and each case requires a thoughtful solution".

Recently, they announced that stores nationwide, greeter positions will be eliminated April 26. "I don't want to get Nathan's hopes up and in six months, they're going to do this all over again".

Jay Melton of Marion, North Carolina, has worked as a greeter for nearly 17 years. This means that the job now requires the ability to stand for long periods of time, lift 25-pound parcels, check receipts, write reports, and help with product loss investigations.

Combs, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, was told he could continue as a greeter at the self-checkout area instead of the front door at the Walmart Supercenter on Southeast 192nd Avenue, said his sister Rachel Wasser of Vancouver.

In addition to offering all affected greeters the company's customary 60-day window to apply for other positions in the store while they still perform their current job, Foran said Walmart will look into each disabled greeter's situation on an individual basis.

"Jay has been a part of our store for the last 17 years and is well known throughout our community".

Within the last week, more than 16,000 people have signed a petition to keep Jay employed at Walmart.



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