After two years of protests and walkouts over employment policies that limited workers’ hours and opportunities for professional development, Walmart finally responded with a new program called, “Access to Open Shifts.” After a successful run as a pilot program at its Fort Smith, Arkansas store last year, Access to Open Shifts is now up and running at more than 4,000 US Walmart stores.
The majority of Walmart workers are part-time employees. Walmart’s cap on the number of hours available to its workers meant that if a part-time student worker, for instance, wanted to add hours at the store between semesters or during college breaks, he or she could not. The policy kept large numbers of Walmart employees in the status of “part-time” workers, without the job benefits available to full-time employees.
With Access to Open Shifts, part-time employees will be able to pick up extra hours, even outside the department where they regularly work, and more importantly, extra pay. The ability to work extra shifts in different departments will allow the worker to gain experience throughout the store. Read the rest of this entry →