Ron Johnson 52 year old former Apple executive is the new CEO of J.C. Penny. Last week he announced a strategy to overhaul the 110 year old department store chain.
Thousands of jobs will be cut nationwide according to the New York Post. Part of the revamping of the chain is changing the strategy from traditional sales and clearance events to a new “everyday pricing.” Unnamed sources said he is firing workers who had long been responsible for re-tagging merchandise and putting up temporary signs and displays.
Employees at nearly all of Penney’s 1,200 stores nationwide will feel the impact of the new strategy.
“As planned, we held over some seasonal holiday hires to help us with the re-ticketing of merchandise,” a J.C. Penney spokeswoman said.
“As this project comes to a close over the next several weeks, the temporary employment of these seasonal hires will come to an end.”
While J.C. Penney officials declined to comment further, sources said cutbacks are affecting entire teams of permanent staff.
“Many employees were given an option . . . to either leave the company or be moved to a different shift,” according to a source briefed on Penney’s plans. However, some were forced to quit because they couldn’t work the oddball shifts they were offered, the source added.
Is J.C. Penney’s following WalMart’s Big Box lead?
In a study by U.C. Berkeley in 2006, they reported on the employment statistics of WalMart. About 900,000 Wal-Mart workers, or 65 percent of its U. S. workforce, are paid less than $12 an hour. More than one-fifth earn less than $9 an hour. Overall, Wal-Mart's hourly workers earn 12.4 percent less than retail workers as a whole.
This study finds that raising their pay to a minimum of $12 an hour would lift many out of poverty, reduce their reliance on public assistance, and cost the average consumer, at most, $12.49 a year.
Here is a testimony by a J.C. Penney who has been an employee for two years:
“I have been there for two years. I started at $8 per hour, I now make $8.99, I recently got a raise of 9 cents, but I am one of the lucky ones. They cut your hours whenever it is good for them, loyalty does not play a part at this place. They want you to work registers, push for credit apps, clean fitting rooms, maintain the dept you are in, please the customers that are abusive while keeping a smile, ask customers 24/7 to do their survey, even though it is unscientific, this is how they judge the prior days performance. From black Friday through Christmas, you work very hard, right after New Year's, they cut your hours down to nothing. No bonus was given this years, we were told sales were down, I say, BS! I hate working there, but I am stuck. Retail has developed a very bad culture for people who work in it. We are not dogs, many of us have college degrees and have worked respectable jobs in our lifetimes. This corporation, like most retail places, want to suck the blood out of the employees and their corporation, but they give back nothing in return. Above all, they demand excellent customer service, but they treat their employees like they are of no value. I wish, things were better but they are not.”
J. C. Penney – “Demoralizing, depressing, frustrating, angry and why unions were created. Sweat shop mentality by the ceo of this corp.”
J.C. Penneys, WalMart and some other retail outlets are notorious for using off shore suppliers who operate sweat shops in foreign countries. Without union represention and advocacy workers in the U.S. are subject to Draconian practices by managment.