Myths vs. Facts:
Wal-Mart pays "competitive wages."
Wal-Mart Lowers Wages.
Wal-Mart workers make an average of $3 per hour less than union
supermarket jobs, $2 per hour less than all supermarket jobs, and
$1 per hour less than the average retail wage. An average
Wal-Mart employee makes about $11,700 a year (working 30 hour
weeks which is the national average in discount stores) ?early
$2,000 below the poverty line for a single mother with two
children. A 40-hour week--which most Wal-Mart employees don't
work--would figure out to $15,000 a year, which is the
government's poverty level for a family of 4.
Wal-Mart employees receive good health insurance coverage.
Wal-Mart's Health Coverage Leaves Most Workers Uncovered.
Huge employee premium payments and big deductibles keep
participation in Wal-Mart's health plan to 38% of employees.
That's 6 out of every 10 employees--more than 425,000 Wal-Mart
employees, most of them women, who have no company
provided health coverage. Nationally, more than 60% of workers
are covered by company paid health plans. There's more:
Wal-Mart workers pay insurance premiums that cover close to half
of Wal-Mart's health plan expenses. The national average shows
that employee premiums cover just over 25% of health plan
expenses incurred by companies nationwide. The Real Story is
that Wal-Mart freely acknowledges shifting its health care costs to
taxpayers and responsible employers. A company spokesperson
said, "[Wal-Mart employees] who choose not to participate in
[Wal-Mart's health plan] usually get their health-care benefits from
a spouse or the state or federal government." Wal-Mart is the
biggest beneficiary of its health plan because the company shifts
$1 billion in health care costs to the government and responsible
70% of Wal-Mart's employees are "full time."
Full time at Wal-Mart means working 28 hours a week.
Last anyone checked, full-time work in the rest of the country still
means 40 hours a week, although a few companies have gone to
a 37.5 and 35 hour workweeks.
Wal-Mart's benefits package for part-time employees - those
working less than 28 hours a week - is "generous."
Wal-Mart employees working less than 28 hours need to put in
two years with the company before they become eligible for
health insurance--if they can afford it.
Wal-Mart creates "hundreds" of new jobs for communities.
Wal-Mart Destroys Jobs.
Studies show that for every two jobs created by a Wal-Mart store,
the community loses three. Jobs are merely shift from local
businesses to the giant retailer. In a 1994 report, the
Congressional Research Service warned Congress that
communities need to evaluate the significance of any job gains at
big-box stores against any loss of jobs due to reduced business
at competing retailers. The report also pointed out that these
so-called new jobs "provide significantly lower wages then jobs in
many industries, and are often only part-time positions, seasonal
opportunities, or subject to extensive turnover." The Real Story is
that when Wal-Mart moves into the neighborhood, it devours local
businesses and lowers community living standards.