Walmart hasn’t had the best reputation as far as employee relations goes, and it looks like they’ve recently had another incident that has people fuming.
Fifty-two-year-old Thomas Smith didn’t have a glowing past but he was turning over a new leaf and trying to push some good out to the world. After spending some time in jail for a poor decision, Smith got a job as a cart collector at Walmart. While this isn’t the most glamorous job at Walmart, it is one that made him an honest living and he made the best of it. At times cart collecting can be downright boring, so Smith took it upon himself to use his extra time in between the daily cart rush, to gather the trash in the parking lot. He was on a mission to clean up the lot while also collecting aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles to take to trade in for cash at the nearest recycling center.
Smith had acquired a total of $5.10 by the time the Walmart store manager got wind of what he was doing. While most agree that Smith was doing a favor by cleaning up the parking lot and saving the store from having to hire a custodian, the store manager was upset and immediately fired him under the classification of theft.
“I didn’t know you couldn’t take empties left behind,” said Smith. “They were garbage. I didn’t even get a chance to explain myself. The told me to turn in my badge.”
Smith was then asked to pay back the $5.10 which he didn’t have on him at the time. In order to pay back the debts that the store owner accused him of owing, he took a one hour bus drive back to the store the day after he was fired to pay him the measly amount of cash accrued.
“I did the right thing and stayed out of trouble,” said Smith. “I worked hard and did a good job. I ended up getting a raw deal.”
When the local paper heard about the story they spread the word and soon members of the community were joining forces to backup Smith’s innocence while noting the ridiculous accusation that the Walmart manager made. Some called the incident an act of racial injustice and others personally wrote letters to the CEO of the store. A crowdfunding campaign was set up to help Smith out during his unemployment.
“Boycott Walmart as well, the corporation’s behavior is worse than any government agency. This is shocking.”
“The East Greenbush Walmart has done a number of outrageous firings in the past for trumped up reasons, but this one takes the cake!!I shop their constantly and they treat their employees terrible, will not even accept doctors excuses half the time to be out of work, they would rather have their employees work sick until they drop on their feet!! I have seen them fire a few of them for this reason! Now, for an employee pickin up cans in the parkin lot is stealing? RIDICULOUS! Anyone could pick up those cans, why not this man? He should not have been fired for this and never should have had to give the store the money he got for the cans! Corporate should really look into this stores practices closely, because the employees will never tell them, they are told that they will be fired if they do! Give him his job back and get someone to run this store properly! I see alot of BS going on there constantly!”
“By Walmart’s idiotic standards the empty cans on their property belong to them? So if I pick an empty can I am stealing? So if my personal property falls out of my car and onto the pavement it becomes Walmart property? Does my car become Walmart property because all four tires are resting on its pavement? Do I become a Walmart slave because both my feet are on their property? All that sounds real stupid to me, but maybe NOT by Walmart standards.