Walmart Canada says it will re-hire disabled workers let go last week

Walmart Canada is backtracking on its controversial decision to withdraw from a program that provided work experience in its Quebec stores to people with disabilities or autism.

The retail giant faced a public relations nightmare that included strong criticism online after a health agency said last week the program's participants would be losing their jobs at Walmart stores in the province.

A Walmart spokesperson tells The Canadian Press in an email all those who were let go are free to return to their positions under the same work conditions that existed before.

The retailer says it will co-ordinate with local agencies to reintegrate people with disabilities or autism into its workforce.

Walmart says 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.