Don’t Force Walmart Employees to Purchase Uniforms


Target: Walmart Global People Division Executive Vice President M. Susan Chambers

Goal: Drop plans for a new dress code that forces employees to supply their own uniforms

Despite the fact that Walmart employees are obviously tired of the unreasonably low wages they earn for the hard work they do, the corporation has made another decision that will set employees back. While Walmart heirs and executives are more than comfortably situated, workers in June 2014 went on strike because they cannot afford to raise their families without public assistance like food stamps and Medicaid. Now the megacorporation has decided to institute a new dress code forcing employees to wear navy or white collared shirts with black or khaki pants – and inviting them to purchase their “apparel needs” in the store where they work.

Barbara Simone, the Walmart human resources executive who posted the announcement to the company’s internal website, enthusiastically noted that a “spark” on the tag indicates an item is dress code appropriate, and that workers could apply their 10 percent discount. In the post Simone claims that the new policy is being instated to help shoppers identify employees and to “help drive teamwork, customer service, and sales.” By calling this new policy a dress code rather than a uniform policy, Walmart avoids the hassle and bills of having to actually acquire these uniforms for their employees. It sounds more like the policy is about helping boost the corporation’s flagging sales; pro-worker group Organization United for Respect noted that Walmart could stand to gain $50-$100 million from this scheme.

Walmart employees have posted a myriad of responses to the new policy, most of them shocked and angered by what they overwhelmingly agree is an unnecessary change that will cause them undue financial burden. Support them in their fight against this arbitrary policy by signing this petition demanding that Walmart back down on their self-serving dress code scheme.


Dear M. Susan Chambers,

Walmart’s decision to institute new strict dress code requirements this year is beyond despicable, considering that employees already struggle with financial hardship. Many of them rely on public assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid to try to raise their families. The claim that this policy is intended to “help drive teamwork, customer service, and sales” is laughable, because this unnecessary financial burden on hardworking Walmart employees will only boost sales for the company, which will not be reflected in their paychecks. Teamwork, customer service, and sales improvements result when workers are healthy and appreciated. Pushing more and more undue burdens onto workers creates the opposite situation, and results in high turnover, low customer loyalty, and dropping profits.

Workers and customers alike want Walmart to treat its employees like human beings. This includes paying workers the living wages they earn with their hard work, and not forcing them to pay for corporate decisions. I urge you to abandon the new dress code policy immediately. It is a self-serving, glorified uniform policy that hurts workers and their families.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Brave New Films via Flickr

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