Earlier this year, Walmart announced a plan to increase the wages of as many as 500,000 employees across America. Now, it seems, the company is cutting some of those employees' hours to reduce costs.
At a meeting this month, Walmart regional executives told managers to cut back on expenses by trimming worker hours beyond those allocated to their stores based on sales projections, Bloomberg reported.
The news comes just six months after Walmart's CEO, Doug McMillon, sent a letter to employees "announcing a series of important changes that demonstrate our commitment to you, our associates."
Walmart promised it would raise its starting wage to $9 an hour, start training programs to advance entry-level workers to higher-paid positions, and stick to fixed weekly schedules for some employees.
If the goal is making employees better off overall, it's useless for companies to increase wages while simultaneously cutting hours for individual workers.
Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg said in an email to The Huffington Post that "the reduction in hours is taking place only in locations where managers have overscheduled workers, staffing the store for more time than they’ve been allotted," and that the company is committed to "investing an additional $1 billion in our associates through wages, training, scheduling and staffing."
Lundberg did not say how many stores, or employees, have seen their hours cut.
A Walmart employee at a store near Houston told Bloomberg that the location had to cut 200 hours a week from the schedule. Employees at a different store in Fort Worth, Texas, told Bloomberg that their store had to cut 1,500 hours, though the time period was unclear.