Walmart to cut hundreds of jobs

US supermarket giant Walmart has cut hundreds of staff from a handful of e-commerce fulfilment centres.

A report from Reuters, which was verified by a spokesperson for Walmart, said that around 200 workers were let go from the centre in Pedricktown, New Jersey, with hundreds of others cut from locations in California, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania due to a reduction or total elimination of weekend and evening shifts.

The New Jersey centre was the only location for which Walmart posted a mandatory Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice for the layoffs. US employers with over 100 employees must issue a WARN notice in advance of plant closings or mass layoffs to provide 60 days of advance notice to affected workers.

Impacted workers will be paid for 90 days with staff offered the chance to vie for potential roles at new ecommerce distribution centres in Illinois and Texas.

The spokesperson told the newswire: "We recently adjusted staffing levels to better prepare for the future needs of customers."

Walmart is the latest major retailer to cut jobs in the US, with the country’s retail sector cutting over 17,000 jobs so far in 2023 at firms such as Amazon, Neiman Marcus and Lidl. Most of the layoffs have been corporate staff however, with Walmart’s cutting of blue collar jobs raising fears of a looming recession for the US economy.

Walmart has also heavily invested in automation, reducing the steps it takes employees at warehouses to process orders. It is the largest private employer in the US with around 1.7 million workers.

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