Retail workers rally for $25,000 a year
A group of Wal-Mart employees plans to ask the company for that much in annual pay for full-time work.
In the coming days, you will be hearing a lot about working women. Not the women leaning in, not the women opting out, but the working women living in or near poverty.
The retail industry alone employs about 1.3 million women who live close to the poverty threshold, according to a new report from the public-policy group Demos.
Amy Traub, the author of "Retail"s Choice: How Raising Wages and Improving Schedules for Women in the Retail Industry Would Benefit America,” argues for an increase to $25,000 a year, or $12.25 an hour. The average hourly wage for saleswomen is now $10.58.
The report arrives as Walmart Moms head to the headquarters of Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) for the retailer's annual shareholder meeting on June 6. The union-supported group is asking for $25,000 a year for full-time work.
Traub says one of the reasons she chose to look at the effects of an increase to $25,000 is because that was the number the Walmart Moms had chosen. "Wal-Mart is always the elephant in the room when talking about retail," she says. "But we're looking at all large retailers."
Traub notes that as of 2012 almost 93 percent of low-wage female retail workers are at least 20 years old and more than a third have children at home. Almost 40 percent contribute at least half of the family's income, and 19 percent are the sole source of income for their household.
She cites all sorts of convincing studies to show that companies could afford to pay workers more because doing so would improve employee productivity and give the workforce more money to spend at those same stores. Lashanda Myrick, a Wal-Mart worker in Denver, said the same thing at a press conference to announce the upcoming protests: 'If Wal-Mart paid us at least $25,000 a year for full-time work, our stores and our economy would improve."
Kory Lundberg, a spokesman for Wal-Mart, says that Myrick is "a great example of the opportunity Wal-Mart provides associates." He notes that in less than 10 months she moved from being a temporary worker to a full-time employee and now earns more than $10 an hour. All true. It's also true that she's a single mom with a kid at home and she got full-time hours by taking the night shift.
Lundberg takes issue with the Demos report, citing Wal-Mart employees' access to a retirement plan, health benefits, bonuses, and educational opportunities.
"Wal-Mart," he says, "provides associates with more opportunities for career growth and greater economic security for their families than other companies in America."
More from Businessweek
You don't have to go to college;
If your not happy with your salary leave:
There is a shortage of skilled labor in United Sates.
Pipe fitters, plumbers, techs in almost every field are needed all over the country
and many if these positions are being filled by those from other countries willing
to relocate to America..
So, go out and get an education..
Here's what all this is really about:
Current hourly rate: $10.58 x 40 hours = $423.20 per week. (No deduction for Union Dues).
Proposed hourly rate: $12.25 x 40 hours = $490.00 per week. (-$66.80 for Union Dues.)
The winner: The Union(s)!
3 dollars more than minimum wage is still not enough.
first libs cry that minimum wage needs to be raised because you can't live on it.
Now libs are crying they can't live on 50% more than minimum wage. You can't please a liberal. EVER!!
Many now think they are due a so called living wage even if they do not have a skill set that is needed in the marketplace. Get over this thing that everyone needs a college degree. If you work in a fast food restaurant, learn many skills so you can work your way up to a real restaurant and you can make good money. You might learn the things to become a good manager or chef.
LEARN A TRADE - plumbing, electrician, brick layer, finish carpenter, tool and die maker, etc. Much demand for these skill sets and companies are unable to find people with these skill sets. You can make good money; especially if you are the best of the best.
We have and continue to tell people they are losers if they do not have a degree. Many get degrees in Political Science, have huge college loan debt and have nothing to offer an employer with this degree. We need to get a handle early on and find what skills people are good at and try and lead them to an area where they can maximize their abilities.
If it's raised, I will have to get one of those jobs as part-time. Will be a wash in buying power. Many fail to realize that at the higher wages, the job description, qualifications, and expectations change.
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