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News or Noise: Are 100,000 Sam's Club employees losing their jobs?

January 17, 2018 11:29 PM

Last Thursday, we told you the two Sam’s Clubs in our area, Greece and Henrietta, were closing.  The two local stores are among a few dozen across the country slated to close in 2018.  Since that announcement, social media has been flooded with reports claiming 100,000 employees were losing their jobs and more than 250 stores were closing.  But are those numbers News or Noise? 

One of the posts circulating on Facebook says: “Sam’s Club, owned by Walmart, closes 250 stores and lays off 100-thousand people after getting 7.8 Billion dollars in tax cuts.  So. Much. Winning.” 

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First of all, we don’t know exactly how much Walmart will save under the new federal tax law.  Walmart’s CEO was quoted in one of its press releases as saying they are still in the early stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for them.   

However we do know, as a result of tax reform, Walmart is giving its employees a one time, one thousand dollar cash bonus and increasing its starting wage to $11 an hour.  

As for 250 stores closing- that’s simply not true.  Walmart says it is closing 63 Sam’s Clubs, and converting 12 of those clubs to ecommerce fulfillment centers.  

I asked Walmart corporate communications if 100,000 employees were being let go. I was told each Sam’s Club employees about 150 employees.  That means 9,450 positions will be eliminated nationwide… 300 of those positions will be from the Rochester area.  

I was also told: 
•    Hourly employees will be paid for 60 days while they look for other opportunities in nearby Clubs or Walmart stores. 
•    If associates haven’t transferred at the end of the 60 days, those eligible will receive severance.

So while there is a very little bit of truth to this post, I would not share it, because it’s mostly noise.  

I was also told by corporate the Henrietta and Greece locations are set to close *by* January 26th… that’s next Friday.  And again they said *by* so it could be sooner.  

Credits

Jennifer Mobilia

Copyright 2018 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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