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    Wal-Mart Workers Stage Protest at Fla. Store

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. - More than 100 Wal-Mart employees participated in a protest earlier this week at a store in a Miami suburb, to decry a new policy on employee absences and a store manager's move to cut workers' hours.

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. - More than 100 Wal-Mart employees participated in a protest earlier this week at a store in a Miami suburb, to decry a new policy on employee absences and a store manager's move to cut workers' hours.

    Wal-Mart officials said they have corrected the store manager's actions, which go against company policy, according to published reports.
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    Officials at Wal-Mart told reporters that the protest in Hialeah Gardens, Fla. was instigated by the store manager's plan to reduce payroll by cutting most workers' hours to 35 hours a week from 40. The officials claimed the store manager violated company policy by reducing hours across the board, instead of cutting down hours on an employee-by-employee basis to take into account the needs of particular departments and shifts.

    A Wal-Mart spokesman told the New York Times that the company had corrected the store manager's mistake and had restored the workers to their former number of hours.

    The protest comes at a time when Wal-Mart has adopted several new policies that are being criticized by workers, including wage caps, the use of more part-time workers, and scheduling more employees to work nights and weekends. Another policy on absences allows Wal-Mart to discipline employees who have numerous unexcused days off.

    Wal-Mart officials claimed that the company gives workers three weeks' notice of their schedule to help them plan ahead, according to reports.

    A report from Wake Up Wal-Mart, a union-backed group that is pressuring the retailer to make changes to its employee policies, claimed that the protest included more than 250 Wal-Mart associates.

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