Friday, April 22, 2011

Cheap Labor Update

Well this is interesting:
According to UC Berkeley's report, Walmart employees earn 14.5 percent less than other workers in large retail companies. Depressing stuff, but there is any easy enough fix: If Walmart implemented a $12 per hour minimum wage for all employees, it would cost the company $3.2 billion. That is a lot of money, unless you're Walmart, in which case it's just 1% of your overall annual $305 billion in sales. Even if Walmart passed on the entire burden of the wage increase to customers, it would only average out to a cost increase of 46 cents per shopping trip. That's surely something that most Walmart shoppers can afford.

But they wouldn't even have to. Remember Walmart's exceptional energy-saving plans? Perhaps it could take some of the money it will inevitably save from energy and materials efficiency and pass it on to workers.

Heh. Yeah don’t hold your breath.

Last month the New York Times looked at WalMart’s accelerated campaign to enter the New York market. They’ve been foiled for years and now that WalMart is all green and socially responsible they’re asking New Yorkers for another chance. But with WalMart depressing wages everywhere it sets up shop, can you blame people for being wary?

Here’s a thought for WalMart: Instead of spending so much money on elaborate TV and print ads, glossy brochures, polls, and hiring Michael Bloomberg’s ex-campaign manager, why not just pay people a living wage and be done with it?