Just days after announcing its plans to increase the pay of its hourly workers, Walmart is now reported to be planning to fire more than 1,000 office staffers at its Arkansas headquarters.
The Wall Street Journal reports the cuts are slated to take place over the next several weeks, with a company spokesperson adding the retail giant had been “looking at our structure for some time as we explore ways to operate more effectively.”
In addition to the corporate job cuts, since news of the hourly worker pay increase was made public, Walmart has also announced that it plans to shutter 63 Sam’s Club warehouse locations, resulting in the termination of as many as 11,000 additional workers.
Some in the industry have speculated the company’s restructuring is in direct response to Amazon’s 2017 expansion, which included the purchase of Whole Foods. Rumors also persist that Amazon may now be in play for Target, the big-box retailer that already directly competes against Walmart.
News of Walmart raising the wages of hourly workers has been much publicized and celebrated by the Trump administration, with President Donald Trump pronouncing the move as being a direct byproduct of the newly enacted Republican tax plan that slashed the corporate tax rate almost in half.
Critics, meanwhile, have pointed to job cuts at places like Walmart’s corporate headquarters and Sam’s Club as examples of how the wage hikes and worker bonuses announced since the tax plan was passed are being carefully framed in attempt to paint a certain picture.
The reality is, many economists and other financial experts have steadfastly maintained that most of the benefit from the tax plan will actually accrue to shareholders.
Meanwhile, some Sam’s Club workers told reporters they were not made aware their store was closing, and only learned of it after reporting for work to find doors shuttered or police officers there to turn them away.
On the political front, the GOP establishment has moved on and is now rumored to be planning to slash so-called entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicaid, all in an effort to offset some of the massive debt created by the tax cuts.