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Why Walmart fired 2,200 people immediately

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From Walmart

NEW YORK — Walmart surprised everyone and put 2,200 people out of work Monday when it temporarily closed five stores.

The reason for the shut down: plumbing problems, according to the retailer.

Two of the stores are in Texas, and the others are in California, Florida and Oklahoma. They will be closed for “extended repairs” for approximately six months, the company said.

The stores closed at 7 p.m. Monday, after workers were notified just hours before that they were losing their jobs.

“Everybody just panicked and started crying,” said Venanzi Luna, a manager of the deli department at the Pico Rivera, Calif. store.

The news came as a surprise to the 295 full-time workers and 248 part-time staffers there.

Both full-time and part-time workers will be put on paid leave for two months, during which time they can try to transfer to a different Walmart location. Full-time employees who don’t get another Walmart job by June 19 may be eligible for severance, which part time workers aren’t eligible for.

“This is the first time we’re hearing of their sewer problems,” city manager Rene Bobadilla said.

The company has not yet asked for any building permits, which may be required for major work.

In Livingston, Texas, where 422 people were laid off, city officials met with Walmart representatives on Monday. They were told that the plumbing problems have been “ongoing and pervasive,” said Marilyn Sutton, the Livingston City Manager.

Walmart hasn’t applied for any permits there yet because they first need to determine what repairs are needed, Sutton said.

Walmart intends to reopen the stores as soon as the problems are resolved.

These five stores had the most plumbing problems over the past two years, but don’t have anything else in common, a spokesman said.

Walmart employs 1.3 million people in the U.S at 4,500 stores.

Luna said she believes Walmart is closing the Pico Rivera store because its employees have been very active in protesting for higher pay. Workers there led one of the first Black Friday protests back in 2012.

But a Walmart spokesman said the decision to close the store has nothing to do with anything but the plumbing.

“We understand this decision has been difficult on our associates and our customers and we aim to reopen these stores as soon as these issues are resolved,” he said.

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17 comments

    • SF/rock

      Your right how does that many stores have plumbing probs. All at once. Walmart doesn’t close stores unless it extremely major. Their profit margin would take a hit. I agree and I’m military as well. Plumbing my fxxxx ass…. Take the above HINT …

  • Mitchell Wilson

    We Had the same issues up here with our Walmart and their plumbing, they ended up building a new store across the highway. The original design for some of plumbing systems used in several store locations across the nation, was faulty.

  • mama trumbo

    So much for the concept that these employees are worth twice as much as Wal Mart paid them. If that were true, Wal Mart would have kept them because they’d be a “bargain”.

  • Glen

    I’m totally calling B.S.!! Something else is going on, and I seriously doubt it’s plumbing! As per usual, the little guys take it in the shorts.

  • walter phillips

    Well when dealing with the rich they don’t care about their employee’s not like it used to be when Sam owned it greed will get you sooner or later I pay more before I would go to wall Mart watch the documentary on Wal-Mart sometime we are paying more in the long run

  • Stephanie

    It says PAID leave people. .. 2 MONTHS OF PAID LEAVE. Its like a damn paid vacation. I’m not seeing the issue here. Stop crying over stupid crap. You want to get paid for doing nothing. .. and now you are. In the mean time, go find that other job you believe you deserve that pays better… or enjoy a little Spring vacation. Your choice.

  • Sara

    I guess when Wal Mart moved into smaller towns and put the mom and pop shops out of business no one thought about Wal-Mart closing. No other place to work! Don’t think that two months counts as vacation. I hope all you people who post snarky comments about wages, jobs, and rent are multi millionaires because you are next! First its people making $30,000 then now $50,000. When the food prices double next year from drought are you going to be ok? Just like the Nazi’s there will be no one left to protest when its your turn…

  • Jack Wright

    BS. I worked for a private contractor doing Walmart refrigeration. They know all the problems. Lots of calls for repairs. There is a store in Anchorage that has really bad plumbing problems. No shutdown planned and if they are going to do any rebuilding, it is done on a every so many years basis.

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