Posted on Tue, Feb. 17, 2004
Miller report hits Wal-Mart 'costs'
By Thomas Peele
CONTRA COSTA TIMES
CONCORD - Colossus retailer Wal-Mart drains government resources because its low-paid, under-insured or non-insured workers have to rely on public subsidies, such as school lunch programs and Section 8 housing, according to a congressional report Rep. George Miller released here Monday.
With supporters of a March ballot measure to ban Wal-Mart superstores and other "big-box" businesses in unincorporated Contra Costa County flanking him, Miller, D-Martinez, ripped the Arkansas-based corporation for creating "downward spirals in communities," violating child labor and workplace safety laws and "paying wages below industry averages."
The report, which the Democratic staff of the House Education and Workforce Committee prepared, estimates that taxpayers bear $420,750 in social services costs for each Wal-Mart store with 200 workers. The company is the nation's largest employer with an estimated 1.2 million employees and more than 3,200 stores.
"Wal-Mart puts a great deal of pressure on its competitors to lower prices," said Miller at a Presidents Day news conference at his district office. "This is about the real price of Wal-Mart."
By not providing health insurance to workers who log less than 34 hours a week, "those workers go to public hospitals and everybody picks up the tab," he said.
Forcing employees to go back to work after punching out at time clocks and locking them inside stores on overnight shifts so they can't leave to seek medical attention also have been commonplace for the company, which Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, said was "built on human misery."
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Mona Williams called the report irresponsible and said Miller was pandering to labor unions that make up much of his political base. Wal-Mart stores are non-unionized.
Please do short!!!!!!! I love to see shorts burned. I am telling you for your own good, do not short Walmart unless you are sadistic and just enjoy losing money. Walmart is going up. There is one negative on Walmart and that is the lawsuit in California and the rest is positive.
Nearly everyone I know enjoys increasing wages over the years, union or non union. And that's while union membership has been drastically declining.
And yet Wal-Mart still continues to grow.
WalMart like any business will fall someday. Who will be let to pick up the pieces.
They will have helped ruin the American economy in the name of so called efficiency.
They will be gone those who made money on them will move on.
Many areas of the country will be in ruin.
This is not just from Walmart but they will be a big contributing factor.
I think this country is in for a rough 20 years or so.
Hmmm Recent posts suggest Walmart should change the designation of minimum wage associates to minimum wage slaves. INTRESTING, however compared to 21 st century slavery in Arab countries, Africa and parts of Asia, at least Walmart's edition get minimum wage. That compares to wages in Iraq at around 35 cents an hour. Perhaps WMT can out source some jobs to Iraq to save money. Some suggest the CEO, CFO, board of directors, buyers, etc.
Geez! Where do you live? $3600/year for car insurance? You're either driving a very expensive car or have a very bad driving record. I pay less than $1000.
$5000/year for life insurance? How much is that policy? A few million?
$2500/year for house? I think I pay $400.
You need a new insurance carrier.
"I thought you had agreed, in your post 152589, that passing the medical costs back to the employee would be a wage decrease."
Everything else being equal it would be a wage decrease. If your wages went up more than the increase in health care costs it would obviously offset.
What is your point? Either way this would be an isolated incident. It still does not prove that wages are decreasing on average.
I am still waiting for a link from Snow that shows wages are decreasing. You seem to agree with him. Maybe you can find a link? I doubt it... You don't like to deal with facts.