Dorothy lives in Placerville, California, and has worked at Walmart for 10 years. Currently she is on medical leave. Prior to going on medical leave five months ago, she was earning $12.29 dollars an hour. In 2012, her annual income was about $16,000.
In the decade that she has worked at Walmart, Halvorson has seen many changes. At she first she loved it, but that all changed when her husband was diagnosed with cancer.
At the same time, Halvorson had to have a hip replacement surgery, but she didn’t want to take time off because she didn’t want to leave Walmart short-handed. It wasn’t until her husband became gravely ill, and eventually passed away from cancer, that she decided to take a leave of absence. When Halvorson eventually came back to work, Walmart dramatically cut her hours. She was given part-time status and management moved her into a different department. She also lost all the vacation and a sick leave that she accrued over 7 years.
Last year, Walmart started hiring new part-time workers, while firing full-timers who have worked at the company for years. Halvorson believes Walmart targets and fires workers who have worked at the store for a long time and who are enrolled in Walmart’s benefit programs.
“I don’t agree with the way we are treated by management. Walmart needs to change. We need consistent schedules and for those of us who want is we need full time hours,” said Halvorson. “I know Walmart can provide us with reasonable work schedules, an end to illegal retaliation and pay us $25,000 a year. And I am not going to stop fighting until they do.”