In an effort to spruce up the look of its stores for the upcoming holiday season, Wal-Mart has implemented a new dress code policy and wants its employees to wear collared shirts and khaki pants. But workers say they don’t know how they’ll pay for the new wardrobe, seeing as how they only make approximately $800 a month, the Huffington Post reports.
Wal-Mart told employees that they can wear clothing they already own if it fits the new guidelines, but individuals like Richard Reynoso describe how they’ll be trying to rub two coins together to figure out how to accommodate this new expense in their budget.
“The sad truth is that I do not have $50 laying around the house to spend on new uniform clothes just because Wal-Mart suddenly decided to change its policy,” Reynoso, a Southern California employee, wrote to Wal-Mart’s corporate headquarters Monday. “If I have to go out-of-pocket for these new clothes, I’m going to have to choose which bill to skip.”
Wal-Mart suspects that much of the outcry is the doing of OUR Walmart, a union-backed labor organization that advocates for Wal-Mart employees and keeps a close eye on the retail store. Reynoso’s letter was written on OUR Walmart letterhead and mailed from its headquarters in Washington, D.C.
"I find it odd that this letter came from the Washington, D.C., office of the UFCW and not from California, where the associate who signed it is from. I think that context helps most reasonable people better understand the letter,” Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg, apparently referring to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, told the Huffington Post via email.
Still, this isn’t the first time that labor activists have criticized Wal-Mart for its pay scale. “A 2013 analysis from House Democrats found that one Wal-Mart in Wisconsin costs taxpayers $900,000 a year because workers’ wages are so low that they have to rely on various public assistance programs,” the news site reported.
Read more at the Huffington Post.