Walmart Canada says it will rehire disabled workers let go last week
Walmart Canada is backtracking on a controversial decision to withdraw from a program that provided work experience in its Quebec stores to people with disabilities or autism.
The decision in March to pull out of the program run by local agencies in Quebec triggered intense criticism online and became a public relations nightmare for the U.S.-based retail giant.
Some of the employees let go had been with the company for 20 years.
A spokesperson for the company told The Canadian Press in an email Thursday it "confirms all former participants in the program who wish to return under the same conditions that were offered before are welcome to do so.''
The retailer said it will co-ordinate with local agencies to reintegrate people with disabilities or autism into its workforce.
Walmart Canada will "(work) with all these people, their families and local social service agencies to find new arrangements that will offer support to the participants,'' including "hiring these people directly.''
The company said its directive applies to all the stores in Quebec that had participated in the program but didn't say how many outlets were involved.
It is unclear how many people were initially let go from Walmart stores after the company decided to stop participating in the program.