Why Walmart Has Decided to Play Less Celine Dion

Wardrobe changes, raises, temperature adjustments in store
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2015 8:51 AM CDT
To Soothe Workers, Walmart Will Play Less Celine Dion
In this May 9, 2013 file photo, a worker pushes shopping carts in front of a Walmart store in La Habra, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Walmart is continuing to increase wages with promised raises for 100,000 department managers this year. The company says managers of complex departments like electronics will be paid a minimum $13 per hour in August, with that jumping to $15 in February; that's up from a current $10.30, a rep tells the New York Times. Managers of less-taxing departments will see their minimum raise a dollar, to $10.90. But in hopes of cheering its workers, Walmart on Wednesday unveiled some of the quirkier changes it has in store: US workers will be allowed to wear khaki or black denim pants along with the already-allowed black and tan slacks beginning next month (blue denim is OK if you're unloading trucks), NBC News reports.

Ugly Christmas sweaters and sports jerseys will be allowed on special occasions. The dress code will still include white or navy collared shirts and a navy blue vest—the only item for which Walmart pays. The New York Times reports store temperatures will rise from 74 to 75 degrees on the East Coast, while the temperature at West Coast locations will drop from 76 to 75 degrees. And store music will now be controlled by a DJ as part of an in-store broadcasting service, meaning workers won't have to hear a CD that the Washington Post reports has been playing on repeat in many stores for months; the CD in question apparently features Celine Dion and Justin Bieber. Walmart says it's also working to make scheduling more flexible; that's been a major source of complaint. (Coming soon from Walmart: unlimited shipping.)

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