Walmart to give workers free mobile phones

Walmart has said it will give nearly half of its employees in the US a free Samsung phone by the end to the year.

The retailer said that the initiative is designed to encourage workers to use an app the company has developed to manage their shifts, clock-in and maintain “constant communication”.

Walmart employs more than 1.6 million people in the US and is the world’s biggest retailer, however most workers currently share company devices.

Over 700,000 workers will receive a Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro, a case and a protection plan for the device.

The project was trialled earlier this year by the retail giant, which said it would not be able to see employees personal data on their devices.

READ MORE: Walmart turns to automated picking robots to meet 80% rise in online orders

However, it would be able to see work emails, installed apps, web history on the smartphones own work-centric browser and clock-in locations.

Walmart has said that workers will only be able to access work apps when working however will be able to use the phones as personal devices.

The company’s app, coined “[email protected]” will allow employees to check schedules up to two weeks in advance, organise annual leave as well as locate items via a voice-activated assistant.

“Constant communication is essential for our business. Walkie talkies were one solution, but not every associate has one,” Walmart executives Drew Holler and Kellie Romack announced in a blog post.

Walmart has said that using the phones will not be mandatory.

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