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Walmart to phase out store greeters

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Company vows opportunities for those with disabilities

Walmart to phase out store greeters
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is eliminating the “people greeter” position at its stores and replacing it with a “customer host” role with such additional duties as handling customer refunds, scanning receipts and checking shopping carts.

The change raised concerns that many greeters with disabilities would lose their jobs. Customer hosts need to be able to lift packages and stand for long periods of time, according to published reports, which would put the position out of reach for many greeters with disabilities.

Walmart U.S. president and chief executive officer Greg Foran on Thursday responded to these concerns in a note to the retailer’s U.S. store managers.

In it, Foran described the move as one of the “tougher choices” that are required in order to stay ahead in a competitive and challenging retail environment. But he said that Walmart is committed to providing affected associates — including those with disabilities — opportunities to find other jobs with the company. Walmart provides a 60-day window for employees affected by a job change to find other positions at their stores, and Foran said the company is extending that transition period for greeters with disabilities.

“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,” Foran wrote.

He noted that Walmart has already made offers to many greeters, including those with physical disabilities.

“We expect this will continue to be the case for many more across the country over the coming weeks,” he wrote. “I’m proud that we have a long-standing history of being an employer of choice for people with disabilities. We are proud to be recognized with a 100% score by the Disability Equality Index, marking three years in a row for this distinction, which recognizes the initiatives and programs we have in this space to serve both our customers and our associates.

“We are confident that we are taking the right steps to do what is necessary for the business, while also treating affected associates with the respect and assistance they deserve as they transition to new opportunities. We must continue to evolve our business model by improving customer service, lowering prices and developing our associates. The future does rest in our hands.”

 


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