Last week we learned that WalMart would be open on Thanksgiving day.   We were told by a WalMart executive "associates" were even excited about the opportunity!  Heck they were going to get extra pay, a meal and 25% off everything they could buy with their sudden wealth for the opportunity to work on one of the few remaining holidays not run over by greed.  But as suspected, Walmart has figured out a way to screw over employees and make sure they dont earn extra for working on Thanksgiving.  In fact, some might earn less.

**See Update below**

On Thanksgiving evening, as other American families tuck into turkey and say thanks, Barbara Gertz will be working at the Wal-Mart stock room in Aurora, Colorado.

"I don't want my kid to know that she didn't get to celebrate with her parents because I had to work," said Gertz, who cannot afford to miss a shift. At an hourly wage of $10, she makes between $21,000 and $23000 a year.

Lets just pause here and reread that.  Full time work that doesnt even meet the abysmal "bragging level" of $25,000 a year.  This puts Ms. Gertz in the pool of about 1.8 MILLION WalMart employees who make less than $25K.
Wal-Mart, like many of its rivals, is opening its stores earlier than ever at 6 p.m. for holiday sales on Thanksgiving. Not only will Gertz miss Thanksgiving dinner with her daughter, but she also worries about not getting enough extra pay for working the holiday.

That's because Wal-Mart calculates "holiday pay" for its workers differently than many of its rivals -- Target, Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penney and Toys R Us -- who pay workers time and a half.

Wal-Mart gives employees a regular hourly wage plus additional pay for working the Thanksgiving holiday. The additional pay is equal to the average daily wage in the two weeks leading up to the holiday.

That would mean that if Gertz worked an eight-hour shift on Thanksgiving day and also an average of eight hours a day in the two weeks prior, she would double her pay -- or at $10 an hour, $80 extra.

Wait what?  You mean WalMart has come up with a different, worse for workers way to compensate them for working a holiday?  Say it isnt so!
The problem is that Gertz and other Wal-Mart workers say their hours are cut prior to the holidays, so their average daily wage also goes down.

Last year, Gertz's hours were cut by five hours a week before the holiday. Her hours were also cut in the weeks after the holiday, which bit into her paychecks further. She said some associates in her store had their hours slashed from 40 per week to 24 in the weeks after.

 "The extra pay is not really a benefit, since they cut your hours," she said. "Your paycheck either equals the same amount or it ends up being less."

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan confirmed that Wal-Mart holiday pay is structured the way Gertz and other workers explained. However, Wal-Mart didn't respond specifically to Gertz's and other workers' allegations about reduced hours during the holidays.

How very Scrooge of them.  Who here things that if you happen to go into a WalMart this week there will be few workers, empty shelves and long lines at checkout?  

You can read the entire article here.  I cant say I am surprised that they figured out a way to screw people.  I am a little surprised that they have been so open about screwing workers.  One more reason not to shop at WalMart.

UPDATE #1 Seems the original reporter was a little lax in checking on the source:

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story featured Wal-Mart worker Barbara Gertz, who had told CNNMoney that she would be working Thanksgiving day.

Gertz now says she is not scheduled to work this Thanksgiving and that she did not work the holiday last year either.

On Friday, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan sent this statement: "Our records showed that Barbara was not scheduled to work on Thanksgiving, nor did she work last Thanksgiving, and, in fact, she doesn't work on Thursdays in general. She will, however, receive holiday pay, as will all associates who work their regularly scheduled shifts during Thanksgiving week, regardless of whether they work on Thursday."

Wal-Mart didn't respond specifically to Gertz's claims about reduced hours during the holidays when first contacted by CNNMoney on Wednesday.

Note WalMart does not deny that how they compute holiday pay screws workers.  And how long do you think Ms. Gertz will remain employed by WalMart?  I have a feeling her hours are going to approach zero very soon.

Originally posted to ksuwildkat on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:43 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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