For several years, Walmart has placed or tied for last among department and discount stores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
The situation for the workers is even less satisfying. Hundreds went on strike on Black Friday last fall. With the backing of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), thousands of Walmart employees have formed an association called OUR Walmart that works with community activists to pressure the company to make changes.
OUR Walmart has stressed the importance of flexible, consistent scheduling and adequate hours.
A report by the think-tank Demos noted that while unstable schedules are not unusual for low-wage workers, there is an intensifying trend toward “just-intime” scheduling where “employers rely on scheduling software and measures of demand (such as floor traffic, sales volume, hotel registrations, or dinner reservations) to match workers’ hours to labor needs.”
For workers, this means schedule changes at the last minute, arriving at work only to be sent home, having to stay after the end of a scheduled shift, and working both nights and days.