Wal-Mart cutting back on hours for workers at some stores

NEW YORK (AP) – Wal-Mart says it is asking some stores to schedule workers for fewer hours, although it says the directive is only being given to stores that are assigning more hours than they were expected to.

The world’s largest retailer said the instructions apply only to a small number of its 4,500 U.S. locations that are scheduling workers for more hours than expected.

Wal-Mart said Monday it spoke to store managers about controlling costs earlier this month at a holiday-season planning meeting. Managers who have been scheduling workers for too many hours were reminded to schedule closer to their allotted hours.

“Managing hours is a routine part of running a sustainable operation, and in select number of stores, it requires keeping those hours to what was originally budgeted,” Wal-Mart said.

Wal-Mart’s second-quarter profit fell 15 percent, partly because of pay raises, efforts to overhaul its stores, and investments in its online operations. The changes did help its sales, however.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company raised its minimum wage to $9 an hour in April and plans to raise it to $10 an hour by February.

As of Jan. 31, Wal-Mart had about 1.4 million employees in the U.S. It did not say how many of them might be working fewer hours.

The move to trim some employees’ hours shows the wage increase was only a public relations move, said Jess Levin, a spokeswoman with the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. Workers are having their hours cut so Wal-Mart can “pad its bottom line,” she said.

Wal-Mart’s low-income shoppers are still struggling as the U.S. economy goes through a sluggish recovery, though lower gas prices are helping somewhat. The company also faces increasing competition from online king Amazon.com and from dollar stores, which are pulling in shoppers seeking low prices and convenience.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. slipped 21 cents to $64.73 on Monday. The stock is trading around three-year lows and has fallen 25 percent in 2015.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s