I work at a Walmart in the State of Alaska, and have been a part time associate (but working a full time schedule) for almost a year now. Most of the duties expected of backroom inventory associates include, but are not limited to: physical labor to unload freight trucks, operation of heavy power equipment (such as power jacks and forklifts) and handling and maintaining a backroom with literally millions of dollars worth of freight. As a side note, Walmart has heavily opposed labor unions, which would be beneficial to the employees when it comes to fair pay and compensation/benefits.
I would like to bring a more detailed focus to those of us who are encouraged or required on a daily basis to operate power equipment. For those of us who train for the license to operate power equipment and use the equipment in our daily tasks, we assume a huge amount of responsibility. We are personally responsible for assets we may damage if mistakes are made or equipment is used improperly, not to mention to safety risks to ourselves and our coworkers. We take on all this responsibility for no additional pay or consideration for promotions or benefits. In Alaska, Walmart's starting pay for most positions that require the use of power equipment is $10 per hour. A sad sum for the responsibility you are required to take on.
Furthermore, inventory associates face a number of safety and health risks. When operating the forklift at our store in Alaska, we are often outside for extended periods of time in negative temperatures, which can potentially cause personal bodily harm and sickness. Other safety risks are also common. For example, I have cracked my ribs twice within the time that I have worked as an inventory associate. Those of us who are considered part time while working full time hours do not receive medical benefits to help us stay healthy and deal with the physical strain of our jobs.
Please lets tell Walmart their hard working employees deserve better. Better pay, and better benefits for the hard labors and responsibilities they take on to make this company work.
Kenneth Laird started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,639 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.