A Walmart employee was reportedly fired for giving hugs and deals to customers.
A social media campaign was launched in support of Frank Swanson, a Missouri Walmart employee who was fired after giving customers hugs and working with them to get good deals.
"I was asking the ladies if I could give them hugs before I hugged them," he told ATTN. "They said yes."
Management reportedly asked him not to hug customers unless they gave permission, but he said he was fired even though many customers would allow the hugs.
The incident that led to Swanson's firing involved a customer who was trying to get a price match for a competitor. Swanson offered 50 cents off to match the competitor's price.
"I was checking out a lady who had some iced tea," he said. "Someone had it on sale in town."
Walmart fired Swanson for giving the discount even though the customer did not present the competitors' ad to prove the lower price.
Swanson had worked at the company for almost 20 years.
"Frank drove to Willow Springs this morning and had them go back into their archived papers, and just like Frank remembered, [in the] bottom right corner [there was an ad for] Red Diamond Iced Tea on sale at G&W Willow Springs [for] $1.98 and [the Walmart Frank works at] price matches Willow Springs," said Swanson's brother, Drexel.
Walmart later responded to the firing in a statement:
Letting an associate go is never easy. It is important to note that we have a progressive discipline policy where performance issues move an associate to the next step. For this associate, point-of-sale policies had not been followed in some instances. A recent violation of those policies moved the associate to the final step of our discipline process, resulting in his dismissal.
Many people called for Swanson to be rehired after his firing.
"Walmart has been known to find any excuse to fire employees that are getting closer to retirement," one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page. "No one ever retires from Walmart because the big box giant will find a way to fire them."
"Customer service, this employee delivered!!" wrote another commenter. "Walmart, you have great employees like this and you turn your back on them, shame on you!! Do the right thing like your employee did, honor your word!!"
"Walmart only cares about the almighty $$$ not their customers!" chimed in another. "And most employees are rude so when you find one like him he is definitely a keeper! Prayers for him!"