Wal-Mart employees are upset over a new a mandatory dress code that was implemented last week, Gawker reports.
The dress code includes white or navy collared shirts with khaki or black pants, close-toed shoes and an updated royal blue Wal-Mart-branded vest. The company, which is only covering the cost of the vest, has compiled a list of acceptable garments on its website.
Wal-Mart human resources executive Barbara Simone informed employees of the new requirements, which took effect on Aug. 29, on an internal website.
“The pride we take in our appearance should make us feel good when we help customers,” she wrote, according to a copy of the message obtained by Gawker. “It’s a reminder that that each one of us is part of something big — helping millions of people save money and live better.”
A couple weeks later, she announced that a newly designed vest, pictured below, would be part of the new dress code.
Prior to the changes, workers were required to wear blue shirts — no collar required — and khakis. In a thread on reddit, commenters said the dress code wasn’t strictly enforced.
Employees sounded off against the new requirements in anonymous comments posted to Simone’s announcement.
“With all due respect to the company, this is more of a financial burden to our family since this is our only source of income with my wife and two kids,” one commenter wrote. “We can hardly afford to live on my income now with us having to pay for a new uniform (aside from the vest). It’s silly. The uniform we have now works. Why change it?”
Another complained that there are more serious issues at Wal-Mart than uniforms.
“Working conditions at my store are atrocious,” the person wrote. “There is little coverage in any dept. to provide anything close to decent customer service. …For ten years I gave my all but my efforts and voice are ignored. My complaints as well as other associates’ seem to not matter one bit. Our registers and other equipment are slow and unreliable. I do not see how bringing back the vests as if we were living in 1994 will change anything. There are real problems to solve in our stores.”
A third claimed that “99.9% of the associates have an issue with the new dress code.”
“When will you admit you and the big fish at walmart were wrong and scrap this busy work project that you and others are using to justify your big paychecks,” the person wrote. “Every few months you guys dream up something new to torture the associates with.”
Not everyone was upset about the changes, however.
Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg said employee feedback is important to the company.
“We always want to hear feedback from our associates — their ideas, their thoughts, their input,” he said. “Hearing what’s on their minds makes us a better company.”
The video below introduces the new uniforms.
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