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Wal-Mart to hire vets, boost US sourcing

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 15, 2013 at 11:24 am •  Published: January 15, 2013

In the next several weeks, the White House will convene the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and major U.S. employers to encourage businesses to make significant commitments to train and employ American's returning veterans, according to Simon's prepared text.

First lady Michelle Obama, who spearheaded a White House drive to encourage businesses to hire veterans, praised Wal-Mart's announcement, calling it "historic."

"We all believe that no one who serves our country should have to fight for a job once they return home," Mrs. Obama said in the statement. "Wal-Mart is setting a groundbreaking example for the private sector to follow."

Wal-Mart which also operates Sam's Clubs, employs more than 1.4 million workers in the U.S.

Simon was also set to announce at the retail convention that the company would help part-time workers transition to full-time status if they so desired.

"We will also bring more transparency to our scheduling system so part-time workers can choose more hours for themselves," Simon said was to say.

The moves could help repair the company's image, following allegations that its Mexico unit was handing out bribes to local officials to speed up getting building permits and gain other favors. According to emails recently released by lawmakers, CEO Mike Duke found out in 2005 about the bribes. Lawmakers say that contradicts earlier claims by the company that executives weren't aware of the bribes made by the company.

Allegations first surfaced in April that Wal-Mart failed to notify law enforcement that company officials authorized the bribes. Wal-Mart has been working with government officials in the U.S. and Mexico on that investigation.