12 June 2019
Lee Tappenden, President & CEO
Wal-Mart Canada Corp.
1940 Argentia Road
Mississauga, ON L5N 1P9
Dear Mr. Tappenden,
Recently, it came to our attention Walmart Canada made policy changes greatly affecting your employees, disabled customers, and First Nations customers.
I was visiting your South Barrie store the other day when I discovered it no longer had express checkouts. Instead, I had the option to use the job-stealing self-checkouts or wait in line at one of the beer-toting checkouts. Either had me behind other customers with carts full of stuff vs my three items I was purchasing.
The problem, Mr. Tappenden, is that I have a hidden disability. Waiting in line can actually be unsafe for me, especially as of late due to tiring quickly, there is no where I can wait while the three to ten people in front of me take more than ten minutes each to pay for their purchases.
I further worry for your First Nations and People of Colour customers who may not feel safe in your stores. Who may only come in for two or three things and then quickly leave, now, your new policy forces them to stay longer with no visible security present. Your staff is inadequately trained for this. A First Nations youth shoved into the shelf of an over-crowded aisle might be seen as an “accident” instead of the assault that was intended by the perpetrator.
Your South Barrie store was difficult to navigate as your normally wide primary aisles were crowded in the middle with stock or other items making it difficult to get around.
As a result of this situation, we would like:
- The restoration of (at a minimum 3) express checkouts at all Walmart stores in Canada.
- Your aisles clear so as to minimize safety issues for your customers.
- All staff trained in First Aid, CPR, and AED.
- All Walmart stores in Canada equipped with an AED.
- All staff informed of its location.
- Assistance for customers with disabilities, visible or hidden.
Peter V. Tretter
President & CEO
Journey to Diversity Workplaces