The photo up above is from a Walmart in Canton Ohio where, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, management has apparently decided to run a Thanksgiving food drive for the store’s own employees. One might be tempted to take this as a sign that the country’s largest retailer (and grocer) doesn’t pay their workers enough to put a holiday meal on the table. The company, however, would prefer you think of it as proof that Walmart employees are a tight-knit bunch:
Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, said the food drive is proof that employees care about each other. “It is for associates who have had some hardships come up,” he said. “Maybe their spouse lost a job. “This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships,” he said.
The Elephant in the Room
Wal-Mart is not just the world’s largest retailer. It’s the world’s largest company–bigger than ExxonMobil, General Motors, and General Electric. The scale can be hard to absorb. Wal-Mart sold $244.5 billion worth of goods last year.It does more business than Target, Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penney, Safeway, and Kroger combined. “Clearly,” says Edward Fox, head of Southern Methodist University’s J.C. Penney Center for Retailing Excellence, “Wal-Mart is more powerful than any retailer has ever been.” It is, in fact, so big and so furtively powerful as to have become an entirely different order of corporate being.
I wonder will giving it employees a livable wage be too much to ask ? No company pays as little as Walmart, check the link below. While of course the canned food drive will help of course of course wont paying them better? I know that if you demand higher wages the company can give in and hire less, in effect, increasing the workload on each employee. I also know that
> U.S. workforce: 1.4 million
> CEO compensation: $20.7 million
> Revenue: $469 billion
> Net income: $17.0 billion
> No. of U.S. stores: 4,759
America’s minimum wage was raised to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009. It’s still there. Unlike almost all other federal benchmarks, the minimum wage is not updated for inflation. The minimum wage reached its (inflation-adjusted) historic high in 1968, when it was raised from $1.40 to $1.60 per hour. Adjusted for inflation using the BLS online inflation calculator that would come to $10.55 per hour in 2012 dollars.
That $10.55 figure is the focus of a nationwide campaign organized by the National Employment Law Project (NELP). In today’s political climate it would certainly be a major accomplishment to achieve a $10.55 minimum wage. But $10.55 is still far too low. Using 1968 as our benchmark for the minimum wage implies that low-wage Americans today should be making just as much as low-wage Americans were making 44 years ago. That benchmark is — frankly — ridiculous.
- Walmart Store Initiates Food Drive For Own Workers (ktla.com)
- Wal-Mart Asks Employees to Donate Food…to Other Hungry Employees (jezebel.com)
- Wal-Mart store’s food drive controversy (wptv.com)
- Cleveland Walmart In Hot Water Over Food Drive For Employees (chicagoist.com)