WAL-MART and WORKERS =
LOW WAGES, LOST JOBS, LAWSUITS & ANTI-UNIONISM
> Healthcare talking points
- Wal-Mart employees at the two Central Oregon stores start at $7.50 an hour. A fulltime job at the local Wal-Mart is just 34 hours a week. That's $13,260 before taxes, which is $2,410 below the federal poverty level for a family of three in 2004 (the most recent data available). A job should lift you out of poverty, not keep you in it. Wal-Mart pays poverty wages.
- Wal-Mart's claim that it creates new jobs is a myth. Almost every community where Wal-Mart has moved in reports losing one good job for every new low-paying Wal-Mart job. Some communities have lost three jobs for every two Wal-Mart jobs.
- A superstore with a grocery section will hurt Bend workers at existing grocery chains and independent stores. The entire community will suffer as low-wage jobs with unaffordable health care replace good jobs with superior health benefits. Workers who lose their jobs will turn to public assistance; new Wal-Mart workers who can't afford the company's expensive health plan will also turn to public assistance. Taxpayers will pay the price.
- Wal-Mart's management handbook says "union prevention is a goal equal to all other objectives" in the company and "no on in management is immune to carrying his or her own weight in the union prevention effort."
- When 10 meatcutters voted 7-3 to join the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) at the Jacksonville, Texas store in 2000, Wal-Mart responded two weeks later by eliminating every meatcutter job in every Wal-Mart in the U.S. In 2003, a federal labor judge ordered Wal-Mart to restore the Texas jobs and bargain with the union. Wal-Mart has ignored the ruling and refuses to bargain.
- After 200 Canadian workers democratically chose the UFCW as their bargaining representative at a store in Jonquiere, Quebec, Wal-Mart responded in February, 2005, by closing the store and firing all 200 workers.
- Wal-Mart recently paid a record $11 million to settle an investigation that found it hired a cleaning contractor who broke federal immigration laws.
- An Oregon jury found Wal-Mart guilty of systematically forcing employees to work overtime without pay in 2002. The year before Wal-Mart paid $50 million to 69,000 Colorado workers for the same violation.
- Wal-Mart faces a class action lawsuit that charges it discriminated against women workers. The suit impacts 1.6 million current and former Wal-Mart employees.
- Wal-Mart was recently charged with violating child labor laws by making underage workers operate heavy equipment in stores.