According to the Albany Times-Union, an employee found the money as he was cleaning the parking lot of the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Niskayuna, New York. The worker claimed he had put the money in his pocket and continued cleaning the lot and later turned the money in to his manager once he finished the job.
But, the newspaper claims, once the management reviewed the surveillance cameras, they determined a thirty minutes gap between the finding of the money and when he turned it in and he was fired for ‘gross misconduct’.
And now local and national worker-rights advocates are rallying around the employee, calling his firing ‘completely bogus’ and are organizing a boycott against Walmart.
‘We cannot allow America's largest employer to keep treating their employees as disposable and taking away their jobs for no real reasons,’ said Jess Levin, a spokeswoman for Making Change at Walmart, a union-backed group fighting for higher wages and better working conditions for Walmart workers. ‘Walmart MCAW stands with Thomas Smith, Michael Walsh, and everyone in New York and across the country in asking for answers and calling on Walmart to stop these unfair terminations,’ according to the Albany Times-Union.
When reached for comment, Walmart spokesman Aaron Mullins said:
‘We have high expectations for our associates that include policies and standards grounded in integrity and truthfulness. We take all associate matters seriously and have procedures in place that enable us to conduct thorough investigations and take action, if necessary. Regarding this specific associate matter, we have nothing further to share at this time.’
This has been just one more incident in the way Walmart treats its workers in the last couple of years with the rise of workers' rights campaigns backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.
The story has some customers voicing their support for Walsh on social media.
"I am disgusted for what you have done to Mike W," Jennifer Marek wrote on Facebook. "He turned that money in as soon as he was capable. You have no right to judge someone else's reasons for wanting to be sure things were handled as appropriately as possible. I don't think a good chunk of people would have even turned it in."
Another person wrote, "Shame on you Walmart for the firing of Michael Walsh. If this is the way you treat your long-time, loyal employees, I will no longer be a long time loyal customer. My business will go to other stores, no matter how inconvenient."
Walmart's treatment of its workers has been under increased scrutiny over the last several years with the rise of workers' rights campaigns backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.Source: