As Walmart annual stockholders meeting activities continue in Fayetteville, critics of the company continue demonstrations.
Today, said a release from the UFCW union, a Walmart employee will hold a press conference outside a state welfare office in Bentonville to highlight the amount of money in government support paid for Walmart workers on account of their low wages.
The employee, reportedly a five-year Walmart worker, makes $11.53 an hour, less than the Walmart “average wage” of $13.75.
Said the UFCW release:
With Walmart’s low wages, poor benefits, fire/rehire culture, and high turnover rate, the company has set a pretty low standard when it comes to sustainable, dignified jobs in the United States. Just one Walmart super center is estimated to cost taxpayers between $904,542 and $1.74 million per year in public assistance money. And in one Dallas Texas Walmart store, we discovered the employee turnover rate was 321%, making it virtually impossible for a worker to build a career or sustain a dignified living.
Walmart claims it is investing in its workforce – in more training, better scheduling, and higher wages, however, the company has plans to automate many of its customer service positions and has even opened a flagship store that replaces cashiers and associates with scan guns and check out screens.
The organization, Making Change at Walmart, sponsoring the Expose Walmart Tour, hopes to be heard at the stockholders meeting Friday.
It falls again to me to note that — across the span of employment — though Walmart’s penny-sensitive, anti-union history is a ripe target, it exceeds many others in pay and benefits. But it serves as a good and large example of corporate welfare. Subsidizing payroll is welfare just as much as direct grants and tax set asides for private business, not to mention corporate accounting tricks of law in many states that lower tax exposure.