Jan. 15, 2004 – Workers at the new Home Depot outlet on St. Thomas were told on Thursday that their hours will not be cut back because of re-supply problems the huge store has run into since it opened a month ago.
That was the information in a brief release faxed to the media on Thursday afternoon by the giant retail chain's Eastern Division public relations manager in Marietta, Ga.
A report published in Thursday morning's V.I. Daily News quoted St. Thomas store manager Ricky Wardally as saying that 138 full-time workers would be cut to four-day weeks, part-time staff would work 12 hours a week instead of 20, and the reductions could last up to two weeks.
The article, according to Don Harrison, the division public relations manager, was that Home Depot suppliers had not been made aware of customs requirements in the Virgin Islands, and as a result the store had been unable to clear tons of inventory shipped to St. Thomas.
The article also quoted Harrison as saying the store has been having difficulty ordering goods because of the incompatibility of its computer system with those of other Home Depot stores, but that the problem should be fixed soon.
On Thursday afternoon, Harrison said in the faxed release: "The re-supply issues on St. Thomas are being worked out and we are confident they will be resolved very soon. However, in the interim, we have revisited our associates' concerns and, today, have reassured them their store hours will not be cut back as a result of these issue."
Harrison also stated that he was "not conducting any followup interviews at this time."
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