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comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  371 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Walmart raises starting wage from $9 to $11 an hour, increases medical and parenting benefits

Ok. So, here me out. Yes, we should celebrate, because if you work twenty hours a week and your pay jumps by $2 an hour, that's about an additional $2,000 a year you'll be making. Plus there are announcements of bonuses and family benefits and all. But I don't think we should be showering Wal-Mart with praise. In my opinion, this was inevitable, and here's why.

First things first. The article says that this'll bump up Wal-Mart's yearly pay by about $300 million dollars. That sounds like a lot of money. You'd think it was no wonder they'd hold off on this. Except, if I Google "Wal-Mart Yearly Profit" I get answers anywhere from $12-18 billion a year. $300 million is a drop in the bucket compared to that. They had the capacity to be this generous all along.

I'm having trouble thinking today so let me just lay this out and hope I say it clearly and we'll figure what's what.

Unemployment is at pre-recession low. During the recession, retail companies had all sorts of overqualified people working for them (the under employed). Had a job in IT but now you don't? Go work at an electronics company and repair computers. Had a job in banking but now you don't? Go be a cashier supervisor at any retail store. Used to have a job as an office manager but now you don't? Go be a department manager at any retail store. Now those jobs are coming back. The people with accounting degrees are accounting, the people with engineering degrees are engineering, and all places like Wal-Mart have left are people who aren't qualified to be engineers, but are qualified to work at Wal-Mart (and I don't mean dumb or lazy or anything, just that they don't necessarily have degrees or certifications).

Except pickings are thin.

Know who pays better than Wal-Mart? Amazon and your generic warehouses. Trained jobs like painters and framers. Shipping companies like FedEx and UPS. Other retail companies like Costco and Target (who by the way who started paying $11/hr well before any tax cuts).

Wal-Mart knows what's up. Retail jobs are harder today than they were twenty years ago. You have to be good with computers, numbers, customer service, and be willing to take on the same workload that twenty years ago would have been split between two or three people. Retail is hard now, which means more training and more investment in your workers. If you're gonna pay people poorly, they're not gonna wanna stick around, which means you're burning time and money training people only to see them leave. If you pay someone $11-15 an hour, they might stick around because they think the pay is worth it, or they might stick around because they hate their job but the next guy only pays fifty cents above minimum and that's a crummy pay cut.

Either way, this isn't about being generous or tax cuts, because they've had the opportunity to be generous for years. This is about worker shortages and Wal-Mart trying to suck a little less to keep people working for them.

Still, hooray for the pay boost, cause those people deserve it.

Edit: Sorry. I just re-read this and I sound overly harsh. I didn't mean to sound overly harsh. I'm just doubtful that Wal-Mart is full of tax break good will all of the sudden.

keifermiller  ·  370 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On raw wages:


In the KC area, FedEx is sitting at $12.50/hr for newhire unskilled labor. If is trustworthy.


The UPS/IBT national contract sets the floor for newhire unskilled labor at $10/hr. In the KC area they are at $10.20.

UPS is in negotations with IBT right now for the new contract that comes up August 1st. It will be... interesting.

UPS wins hands down once the union benefits kick in, but that takes a year.

tl;dr: UPS < Wallyworld < FedEx

oyster  ·  371 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I was reading a similar article on the Times that pointed out how Target raised wages in October so of course Walmart has to compete now. On top of that if nobody was saying that corporations wouldn’t give the money to the workers and Walmart specifically wasn’t being shit on so much by the public then this wouldn’t have happened. If I was getting $10 extra a year and giving $2 of that away meant people would like me and get off my back I can’t see why I wouldn’t do that. Maybe I’ll even get another $5 back come next time without giving any away because nobody is paying attention anymore.

I can’t wait until Canadians start posting on Facebook that America’s getting it right when in reality we get a years maternity leave and still have a lower corporate tax rate. This is the kind of shit that corporations can do because people have no interest in actually thinking for themselves they just want to form an opinion and shut their brain off again.

You know what I want to know, what benefits they cut in recent years and aren’t bringing back. When I worked at Loblaws they made cuts to coverage and I would bet they would introduce some benefit to cover some adoption fees without bring those back effectively still being shittier than they used to be but looking good. I’m very skeptical of these corporations.

Edit: I kneeew it, and sure it only affected that many workers at the start, but I bet we are both thinking they are cutting hours to keep most part timers under 30 hours now.

kleinbl00  ·  371 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't disagree with a word you say. They've been The Devil for half my life.

A number of pundits have pointed out that more than half of the new jobs these days are being filled by people who weren't "unemployed" they were "discouraged workers." It's entirely possible that Walmart has decided it takes an extra $2 to get someone who's given up on work to put on a blue vest.

user-inactivated  ·  371 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I don't disagree with a word you say. They've been The Devil for half my life.

Yeah. I feel the same way about themBetween writing this rant and sharing the news about Sam's Club, I got myself pretty angry.

    A number of pundits have pointed out that more than half of the new jobs these days are being filled by people who weren't "unemployed" they were "discouraged workers."

You ever notice on the radio, when they have two people talking, one always says "Job numbers are great and here's why" to which the other person says "You're wrong. They're actually awful and here's why." It always seems to be the same names and they never change their tune which makes me believe that A) things aren't changing since the beginning of Obama's second term so people can just say the same thing over and over and still be relatively accurate or B) employment numbers are a facet of economics where you don't have to be completely right in order to be technically right.

Speaking of being underemployed, discouraged workers, etc. and employment numbers, I hear a lot saying that "Employment Sector A, C, and G are all terribly short on workers" and I think maybe A) companies need to rethink their hiring requirements or B) we really need to talk to people better about how they choose education and careers. I mean, if I was eighteen and could do college all over again, knowing what I know now I'd make major different decisions (up to and including not dropping out). Chances lots of people probably feel that way.