9.20.2011

"if we can change walmart, we can change america for all workers"

Everyone reading this should know that conditions for working people at Walmart - the largest employer in the United States - are nothing short of criminal. We should also know that the only way working conditions at Walmart will ever improve is by workers organizing. And they are doing just that. This video from Walmart Watch takes a look at their efforts.


Meanwhile, a major study by the Center for Labor Research and Education at University of California Berkeley shows that Walmart "could easily pay its workers $12.00 an hour". Even if Walmart passed 100% of the wage increase onto its customers - hardly necessary for a company with $6.7 billion in annual profits - it would only increase the average Walmart shopping by 46 cents. Read more here.

4 comments:

Some Person said...

$0.46?! That's $0.46 of MY MONEY that's going to those union fat cats. You realize what I could do with that kind of money? Park for 20 whole minutes instead of biking 15 minutes to town. Make a wish in a fountain for a world where workers are paid better. Even give it as a tip to the homeless guy that squeegies my windshield so that he doesn't have to work at Wal-Mart for substandard wages. I can't believe there are people who want to take that away from me.

Andrea said...

I dont hear about these issues with Canada's Walmart. Is it that our employment law standards are that different?

laura k said...

Andrea, good question!

The minimum wage is much higher in Canada. Ontario's minimum wage, for example, is $10.25. New York State's is $7.25.

In the US, most people rely on their employer for health insurance. Walmart has health insurance for employees who qualify by working a certain number of hours per week - and they make sure that more than 80% of employees don't qualify.

And in Canada, many Walmart employees are unionized. In the US, Walmart has succeeded in their union-busting efforts. You may recall they tried that in Quebec - Walmart closed the store rather than submit to a unionized workforce. The courts ruled against them, they were forced to pay fines and back pay.

There might be other issues, too. Perhaps Canadian Walmart employees have issues that I'm not aware of. You've given me good incentive to find out.

laura k said...

Canadian Walmart workers efforts to unionize

Also in response to Andrea's question, Walmart is the single largest employer in the US. Its awful policies effect millions - that's partly why it's such a big labour issue.