It isn’t breaking news that Wal-Mart employees are unhappy with their low wage level. Last year on Black Friday OUR Wal-Mart, a union backed worker group chose to walk off the job and campaign for their rights. OUR Wal-Mart announced its plans in early May to meet in Bentonville, Arkansas on the day of Wal-Marts annual shareholder meeting. They plan to campaign for more full time jobs with predictable schedules. Also for better wages to help provide for their families.
A new report shows that Wal-Mart employees aren’t the only ones paying the price for their low wages. According to the Huffington Post, Congressional Democrats recently released a study that demonstrated that Wal-Mart wages are so low that many of their employees rely on Food Stamps and other Government Aid programs. One Wal-Mart Supercenter in Wisconsin is costing tax payers as much as $900, 000 per year. The report is entitled ” The Low Wage Drag on Our Economy” was produced by Democrats with the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Wisconsin was the state chosen for the study because its data is most recent. It allowed the study to employ the states Medicaid data to discern the annual cost tax payers pay to provide Food Stamps and Publicly Subsidized HealthCare programs to those Supercenter employees who qualify for aid. Wal-Mart has long been criticized for low wages, that qualify many of their employees for assistance programs. Wal-Mart had more employees enrolled in the state’s healthcare program last quarter than any other employer.
Wal-Mart stands by its current wage levels and the oppurtunities it provides for workers. The Huffington Post quotes Wal-Mart spokes women Brooke Buchanan saying ” Unfortunately there are some people who base their opinions on misconceptions rather than facts. We provide a range of jobs- from people stocking shelves to Ph.Ds in engineering and finance. We provide education assistance and skill training, and most of all, a chance to move up the ranks.”
Despite these claims Wal-Mart has been taken to court several times and lost. They are consistently in trouble for violating workers rights. Their treatment of their employees has been historically bad. But the new American way is to abuse your employees, while you rake in incredible profits. Wal-Mart is one of the highest employers in the country, employing over 1 million people. Maybe a union to protect the employees, improve work place standards and get higher wages is a good idea.
The current minimum wage stands at $7.25 an hour. It applies in 31 states that don’t mandate a higher wage. A person making $7.25 an hour working full time, 40 hours, makes $290 a week. That is $1, 160 a month. That is $13, 920 a year, for a single person that is about 115% of the poverty level. The unfortunate part is you need Wal-Mart employees or there is no Wal-Mart. These people can’t be that lazy working more hours and days than our Congress, right?
Republicans recently voted unanimously against Raising the Minimum Wage, unanimously. The last time raising the minimum wage came up Republicans said all the same things. It will put companies out of business, destroy the economy and slow hiring. They were wrong on every one of those, considering the unemployment level was below 4% and we had the most consecutive years of economic growth ever. President Obama said Raising the Minimum Wage will help give low income earners a step on the ladder to the middle class. He said this in his State of the Union Address and Repunlicans immediately went to work trying to stop it. Dont Republicans realize people vote Democrat because they help normal people not people who don’t need the help. Republicans will pass the drowning person and hand a towel to the person already out of the pool. Keep going Republicans, you are making yourself irrelevant.