Thursday, August 25, 2005

something to think about...

With annual sales of more than $250 billion, Wal-Mart netted $9.1 billion in 2003 profits, more than twice the profits of its leading retail competitors combined, according to the company's most recent annual reports. Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott received a double-digit pay increase in 2003, his salary and bonus payments jumping by 26 percent over the previous year. Including the value of stock received, Scott's pay package soared to $12.44 million. But many of his 1.3 million Wal-Mart employees are paid so poorly they can't even afford health insurance.
Wal-Mart’s employees—more than 70 percent of them women—are paid an average $9.64 an hour if they are full-time employees, according to Business Week. Yet full-time workers, who comprise only about two-thirds of Wal-Mart's workforce, may be scheduled for as few as 34 hours weekly. Even at $9.64 hourly, working 34 hours a week, a Wal-Mart employee earns only $17,043 annually, well under the $18,850 federal poverty guideline for a family of four in 2004.
While 66 percent of workers at large U.S. firms get health coverage on the job, fewer than half of Wal-Mart workers do, an October 2003 AFL-CIO report finds.
Wal-Mart's virulent anti-union policies prevent workers from winning family-supportive wages and benefits. Unionized workers in the retail food industry make more than 30 percent more in hourly wages than their nonunion counterparts, according to a 2002 report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Yet when new employees start at Wal-Mart, they must first watch a video warning them against joining a union, according to author Barbara Ehrenreich, who chronicled her experience working at Wal-Mart in Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America.
By keeping its workers in poverty, Wal-Mart also impoverishes entire communities: When many residents have less to spend on goods and services, they can't support community merchants—and everyone's income and spending eventually drops.
Big-box retailers and supercenters such as Wal-Mart transform family-supporting, middle-class retail jobs into lower-paying jobs that often leave workers unable to pay bills.
With big-box retailers and supercenters tending to convert communities' union-scale retail jobs to fewer, lower-paying retail jobs, the difference in overall compensation, including wages and benefits, is "as much as $8 an hour," according to an October 2003 report prepared for the city of Los Angeles.
For every $1 wage cut, the local economy loses a total $2.08 as less money circulates through the local economy. If union grocery workers' wages were slashed to match the wages of Wal-Mart workers, their communities would lose between $1.6 billion and $3 billion annually.
If Wal-Mart paid each employee $1 an hour more, it could maintain its profitability level by increasing prices a mere half penny per dollar.

report copied from aflcio.org

add to sk*rt

1 comment:

Blue Cross of California said...

It is unfortunate how walmart treats there employees. I think the employees deserve better benefits like full health insurance coverage and much more for all the hard work.