The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Wal-Mart’s Threatening To Pull Out Of D.C. If It Has To Pay A Higher Minimum Wage. So What?

For two and a half years now, Washington has been trying to figure out what, if anything, to do about the six stores Wal-Mart is planning to open in the city. The company has a pretty bad history of paying low wages and vacuuming streets of their local businesses, and activists have pushed for concessions that would at least force it to be a good corporate citizen.

But the company cut its real estate deals such that local politicians had little leverage, and most didn't want to use it anyway, lulled by promises of thousands of jobs and retail for some of the neighborhoods that need it most. Ultimately, Mayor Vincent Gray signed a "community partnership agreement" that contains goals for the hiring of local residents, but no enforcement mechanism whatsoever.

At long last, however, the D.C. Council may have found a way to squeeze something more out of the world's largest retailer: passing a bill that requires all corporations in the city with more than $1 billion in global sales and operating in spaces larger than 75,000 square feet to pay a minimum wage of $12.50, with exceptions for companies with collective bargaining agreements (read the bill here). That means that Wal-Mart, along with other big chains such as Home Depot, Costco and Macy's, would have to pay nearly 50 percent more than D.C.'s existing $8.25 minimum wage.


Publishers Notes: I happen to know of one person who is working on these new locations in D.C.. I am being told WalMart has already stopped work on one of the locations.

That being said, if there is ANY business that should get slammed for paying too little while making MORE MONEY than almost every other business in America, WalMart should be slammed.

Let them shut the damn stores down and CALL THEIR BLUFF! 


Anonymous said...

With all due respect, that article is seven (7) months old and City Council voted to not raise the minimum wage.

The article points out that by raising the minimum wage not only would they lose net income, they'd have to RAISE PRICES 1.1%. That to me sounds like an increase in the Sales Tax aimed at companies that have proven themselves to be successful.

Third, Wal-Mart has proven many times that people who work for them and make contribute to the success of their business (as opposed to showing up when convenient, performing at a level that just gets by, and whining about how they deserve more money) have made great advancements in income, life style, and self-worth.

Rather than bashing success maybe we ought to spend those efforts bashing those who want more given to them because they do less.

JoeAlbero said...

2:53, we know how old the article is. Our point is to tell you NOW that WalMart is stopping some of the jobs now under construction. CALL THEIR BLUFF.

Anonymous said...

Yes lets just make more jobs leave maryland, thats exactly what we need...

Way to go, way to go...

Anonymous said...

They actually did stop construction on one of their stores as I heard about it. Right in the middle - they stopped it.

Anonymous said...

A society that has literally gone insane. There is nothing safe anymore.

Anonymous said...

You just don't get it. Some of Wal-mart employees not only get a check from the company, the employees are eligible for welfare, snap, EBT, medicaid and earned income credit if their wages are low. There are people who are unemployed and receiving nothing. Absolutely Nothing. Wal-Mart with the low wages and slave mentality need to go.

Anonymous said...

2:53-Over 80% of Walmart employees receive one or more forms of government entitlements. Medicaid alone is in the 10's of millions and more for some states. The put in place special bus/public transportation lines for Walmart employees and other changes that cost tax payers for the infrastructure of these stores. Dollar per dollar it would cost tax payers less to just pay these employees for not working. They would get more and would actually have more to contribute to the economy.

Anonymous said...

"has proven many times that people who work for them and make contribute to the success of their business (as opposed to showing up when convenient, performing at a level that just gets by, and whining about how they deserve more money) have made great advancements in income, life style, and self-worth"

Dream on. We're not talking about IBM here. There are only so many managers, and their paychecks aren't kicking up much dust.

JoeAlbero said...

3:06, HELLO, they're in D.C., not Maryland.

Anonymous said...

3:20 * Having worked at IBM for over 10 years I can say I have yet to meet a Wal-Mart employee who would last a week at any IBM job; most wouldn't survive the first interview. But if you read some of the Wal-Mart tributes you'll see names and positions of folks lifted from welfare to homeowners and family heads of respectable households.

JoeAlbero said...

3:47, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit over your liberal comment. Man, you people are so desperate you'll make up any story to counter the facts we deliver.

Yeah, I'm going to believe an IBM employee spends their time on Google reading up about WalMart employee success stories. INCREDIBLE.

Anonymous said...

A huge benefit of WalMart that is being overlooked is the buying power they provide. Their prices as such that they allow people willing to shop there to buy about 20% more then they could get elsewhere. That is important to middle class families.

JoeAlbero said...

3:54, Good Lord, is this you Muir Boda? Is WalMart Corporate in damage control mode?

I can go to Food Lion and save a TON more than shopping at WalMart for groceries.

Oh, maybe if you buy all value brand private label products but even the grocery stores are providing that as well.

In fact, had some Food Lion brand oreo type cookies a couple weeks ago and they were even better than the oreo brand.

The ONLY thing good about WalMart is the convenience when you are already out buying other items.

People don't have the time like they used to years ago to go from one store to the next taking advantage of all the sale items.

WalMart might have a few products at a reduced rate but they slam you on 95% of the rest of the items in the store.

Look at cake mix and icing, for example. I can always find it for a LOT less anywhere else. They provide trick leaders into the store and hose you on the rest of the items. We are not that stupid.

Anonymous said...

What everyone fails to recognize is the fact that DC may vote down a MW increase, same as MD has done in the past, but the Fed is also pushing this agenda. So Walmart can stomp their feet all they want.

Walmart is the biggest lobbyist of keeping wages low. They fight dirty and are politically connected. They don't give a turd about their employees.

Money, that is all that matters.

As long as there is welfare on the taxpayers back subsidizing their employees, Walmart will continue not to pay livable wages.

Anonymous said...

Wal-Mart doesn’t have a responsibility to ensure that each employee is as comfortable as they want. That’s not the issue. The issue is moral and ethical consequences of business practices with negative long-term impact.

Wal-Mart does have a responsibility to the American people and the American economy because it is dependent upon those systems for its long-term health.

If a corporation is destroying the American economy through legal means, its charter should be revoked as a matter of public policy.

Perhaps there should be higher corporate taxes for corporations that dodge the moral obligations for their employees.

Anonymous said...

Don't buy Walmart or Sam's Club meats. I'm telling you, that crap isn't fit for a rabid dog's last meal.

Anonymous said...

Milk at Wal Mart is always more than FL or Walgreens

Anonymous said...

4:00-You are correct.People don't have the time like they used to,but gas was cheaper,enabling them to go from store to store more economically.I just get everything I need in Food Lion.

Gary B said...

Most all meat at WalMart has 12% solution in it, so instead of tasting like meat, it tastes like 12% solution. Of course, you have to look out for that at all stores, but I go to Giant where they have meat cutters cutting up actual carcasses.
I think FL got rid of theirs?
It may be corn fed beef anyway, but it's not embalmed.

I'm looking to find where Pete Richardson sells his grass fed beef and LNI farms as well! Then, I'll be happy!

Gary B said...

Oh, for the rest of my groceries? It's Wally World. Can't afford Giant for that!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what's funnier... The story or that you people think food lion is cheaper than walmart. Food lion is a joke.

Anonymous said...

The linked June 2013 article from The Washington Post is old, and now out of date, but it is fair and factual. The first two Walmart DC stores actually opened in December 2013.

DC Council passed and the mayor later vetoed legislation on September 12, 2013 that specifically targeted Walmart. Construction on several stores was well underway so this could have been viewed by the company as a form of extortion by the council. The veto was not overturned. DC’s living costs have been very high for a long time; their minimum wage is $1.00 higher than the Federal rate at $8.25. Everyone in DC faces the costs issue. More importantly, many DC residents have very few choices where to shop locally and are locked into high prices by a lack of selection and competition.

The vetoed bill would require Walmart to pay $12.50 minimum (an increase of over 50%) simply because they are big, successful and don’t have unionized employees; that is their ‘crime’ in the eyes of the ‘activists’, many of whom are union organizers or officials. The unions drool at the prospect of the enormous dues income a unionized Walmart would provide. Unions are happy to sign shoddy deals with all sorts of employers and their first order of business is always to lock in and automate dues collection.

The proposed DC bill had an escape clause hidden in plain view. A collective bargaining agreement with a union could permit paying any lesser negotiated rate. So if they had a union, they could agree with the union to pay any amount below $12.50 but more than $8.25. And don’t you think for a minute the union wouldn’t go for that as long as they got their dues!

Walmart was blunt that they would stop building stores under construction and would not start the others if the measure passed. A brief search seems to show other new Walmarts elsewhere costing between $15-20 million to build in addition to the cost of real estate. Given DC costs let’s just use $20 million for each of the 6 stores plus the land. A lot of new taxes to DC just for the improved property plus the sales taxes plus the wage taxes from all the new employees. Hundreds of new employees would be hired at each store, all earning more income after being hired than they were making before. The mayor of DC saved the deal by his veto; the council was strictly acting like a mob under groupthink.

Joe says on occasion “If you don’t like SBY News, don’t read and click the little red x.” Likewise, if you don’t like Walmart don’t shop there and don’t apply to work there. Easy problems to solve!

Previously worked for a company that sold some products to them from other plants. Our managers who dealt with them said they were very tough negotiators and an extremely demanding customer. The volume of business they provided made the aggravation worthwhile. They are like that with all their vendors, and they try not to overpay for workers either. They are pragmatic and pay wages in each market that are required to attract and retain the staff they need. Most of the jobs are not rocket science and most applicants aren’t rocket scientists. They are paid for the skills they bring that are used in the job they do. Simple as that.

Not their fanboy; an occasional customer, when it benefits me. They make big money on the bottom line because they run enormous volume through the register and protect their thin margins.

And this January 2014 look at margins from Motley Fool shows there is not much wiggle room

P.S. Found this university link after composing my thoughts when seeking some comparative info about profit margins. It’s 12 years old but think the overview it provides is helpful.‎ The Discount Retail Industry: - Njit

Beezer said...

To 8:57 - Wal-mart Specialist

I'll give you this - you are one of the most informational sources I have ever witnessed on this blog, and I have read thousands of comments. Woe - I'm shell shocked.

Anonymous said...

8:57 PM

Your opinion is well written with common sense which is a breath of fresh air on here. I feel as you do but I could never have worded my thoughts with your flair. Good job.

Anonymous said...

\February 13, 2014 at 3:47 PM,
Yeah! After 20 years.

Anonymous said...

February 13, 2014 at 3:54 PM,
walmart have cheap products with expensive pricing. I agree with Joe, the food prices at food lion is cheaper.

Anonymous said...

That building doesn't look like a Walmart. It actually looks like a public library or something.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Don't buy Walmart or Sam's Club meats. I'm telling you, that crap isn't fit for a rabid dog's last meal.

February 13, 2014 at 4:33 PM

I agree. I have yet to find a good steak from there. The meat just doesn't look right either. Is it real beef?

Anonymous said...

Where do some of the liars pulling arbitrary statistics out of one of their orifices come from? Cite your sources Union rep demagogues

Anonymous said...

Minimum wage is nothing more than government interference in a contract between the employer/employee. The government has no business telling people what they must pay employees. This is how the government controls the masses - and buys votes.