Statement on Walmart’s Employment of People with Disabilities from NOD President Carol Glazer
Walmart’s decision to change the responsibilities of its store greeters, who are largely represented by people with disabilities, is profoundly disturbing. As a mother of a child with intellectual disabilities, I can say that my family has always loved shopping at Walmart because my son sees greeters that remind him of himself, and who are role models for him.
But we have to keep this in perspective: Jobs are not entitlements. As a retailer competing with tech sector companies who can get merchandise directly to their customers’ doors, Walmart has to evolve its business model and its workforce. It’s inevitable there will be winners and losers. Walmart has pledged to help those who may be displaced by the change in store greeters’ job descriptions. We hope this means people with physical and mental disabilities. Walmart would be wise to consider their many customers with disabilities, along with family and friends, who are counting on them to do the right thing.
Walmart’s solid track record in employing people with disabilities and veterans has earned it the right to make good on its promises. We in the disability community should watch closely, but give the company a chance – not only to preserve jobs for store greeters, but up and down the managerial chain of command. Corporate America needs to remember there are 20 million Americans with disabilities who are ready to work, and to contribute meaningfully to earn a paycheck.
National Organization on Disability