Walmart’s decision to raise the wages of 40% of their employees is a big win for liberals and progressives. It is also a clear sign that Democrats are gaining ground in their effort to raise wages.
Walmart announced the pay increase in their earnings report, “McMillon announced a bold new initiative on pay and training for U.S. associates. Approximately 500,000 full-time and part-time associates at Walmart U.S. stores and Sam’s Clubs will receive pay raises in the first half of the current fiscal year. Current and future associates will benefit from this initiative, which ensures that Walmart hourly associates earn at least $1.75 above today’s federal minimum wage, or $9.00 per hour, in April. The following year, by Feb. 1, 2016, current associates will earn at least $10.00 per hour.”
Walmart isn’t doing this out of the goodness of their heart. The company’s poor treatment of their workers has led to customers fleeing to the competition. Yesterday, a survey was released that found Walmart to be the most disliked retailer in America. Customers found Walmart so distasteful that it was ranked below discount outlets Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. Forget competing with Costco and Kohl’s, Walmart was losing the battle for consumers to your local dollar store.
Leaked internal documents recently revealed that Walmart is terrified of the movement by the group OurWalmart to raise employee wages to $15 an hour. Walmart workers have been fighting for better pay and more consistent hours. The company is trying to throw some of their employees a bone in the hopes of quieting the movement.
The biggest problem for Walmart was that their model of worker mistreatment in the name of profits had turned into a public relations disaster. The company is already getting great headlines, and their stock price is soaring after announcing the wage increase.
Walmart finally realized that doing something good for some of their employees is good for business.
The decision by Walmart to raise wages is a devastating blow to Republicans who oppose raising the minimum wage. Republicans could always point to Walmart as one of their reasons not to raise the minimum wage, but with even Walmart on board to extremely limited PR driven degree, that argument is falling apart.
Liberals and progressives finally got Walmart to budge. This is a victory for Walmart employees and the millions of Americans who are fighting for an increase in the minimum wage. Even Walmart can’t resist the leftward movement of America’s economic priorities.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
43 Replies to “A Huge Victory For Liberals and Progressives: Walmart Raises Wages For 500,000 Employees”
This article is right on target. People do not want to shop at a store with employees that have to struggle or are unhappy. Some employers get it. Many do not.
The raise is just a token action. Walmart is still a very greedy corporation and the Waltons are a mighty greedy family. If they never ‘earned’ another cent, big deal, who cares. Having billions more than one needs at the expense of millions is, what. Immoral comes to mind. And that goes for the other 80 something in the 1%. What if they all had to downsize just to 5 billion each. I think they could all still survive.
I shop at Walmart all the time. The same people who agree with this will be the first people to complain when Walmart raises their prices.
The ripple effect from this will be to raise wages at their competitors, and other low wage jobs. Perhaps they’ll one day pay enough that their workers don’t have to collect government benefits to survive.
The ripple effect will be higher prices and higher unemployment. Instead of paying them they will let them go. Which I cannot blame them.
This is obviously incremental success, but it IS success and a huge help to the associates. (Title inflation beats raises in Wal-Mart’s opinion…) Keep the heat on, don’t shop there, and maybe just maybe they’ll raise it even more.
BTW – I like Dollar Tree. They have good stuff. I’ve helped newly-housed homeless people get set up with kitchen and dining ware and did not break the bank doing it. I cannot say the same about Wal-Mart.
With the astronomical profits WalMart has been making, there’s NO REASON for WalMart to raise prices at all.
Any person who believes WalMart can’t share a teensy-weensy bit of their astronomical profits with their hard-working employees who make those profits possible, is a traitor to their fellow American worker and a willing slave to Corporate America.
I notice there’s obviously a roach(Probably a republican) on this site that doesn’t agree with us saners. Downvoting. It must be a republican.
When people stand together and demand equality, things can happen.
I’ve seen first hand the huge retirement facilities in Bentonville, Arkansas. To say it’s a nice community would be an understatement. By the way, notice the slightly higher price increases in some of the stores now.
The stupid burns with this one
Myth: Increasing the minimum wage will cause people to lose their jobs.
Not true: A review of 64 studies on minimum wage increases found no discernable effect on employment. Additionally, more than 600 economists, seven of them Nobel Prize winners in economics, have signed onto a letter in support of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016.
Myth: Increasing the minimum wage will result in job losses for newly hired and unskilled workers in what some call a “last-one-hired-equals-first-one-fired” scenario.
Not true: Minimum wage increases have little to no negative effect on employment as shown in independent studies from economists across the country. Academic research also has shown that higher wages sharply reduce employee turnover which can reduce employment and training costs.
But I guess being homeschooled you know better than economist who have studied this issue
I won’t, because I haven’t shopped at Walmart in years.
I would rather pay a little more for an item and shop local to help the small businesses that appreciate the customer; not Walmart, the epitome of greed.
Prices already going up at Walmart. Fortunately in California we now have the Mexican store chains that have dramatically lower prices then any Walmart or American store. No need for walmart anymore.
I hope you’re here, on this blog, to educate yourself on the facts instead of just spreading lies, because – MAN! – do you need help.
Well, I can ‘blame’ them. Is ‘who can make the most money in the world at the expense of millions of low paid people who need food stamps and medicaid at the expense of tax payers’ the strived for ‘successful business practice’ something we should all applaud? I don’t think so. It is more an embarrassing situation flaunting extreme moral corruption. Frankly, it’s far worse than embarrassing and, in the end, a mighty force in the destruction of a society.
The stupid burns with this one
Myth: Increasing the minimum wage will cause people to lose their jobs.
Fact: CBO predicts increasing minimum wage to $10.10 would cause 500,000 to lose their jobs over the next two years.
Myth: Small business owners can’t afford to pay their workers more, and therefore don’t support an increase in the minimum wage.
Fact: As a small business owner, with 5 employees, I can tell you for sure this effects us. If minimum wage is increased to $10.10 That is essentially adding another employee to my business, If I could support 6 employees at my current rate of $8.50 I would, but it is not possible. Therefore I would have to choose either cutting my workers hours or letting one of them go.
On the upside though, A higher minimum wage does increase consumer spending especially in places such as Wal-Mart. But then the effects of supply and demand come into play, the more people buy, there less there is, therefore prices increase to equilibrium….
Here ya go jimmy. Educate yourself. Read.
Why would Walmart need to raise their prices considering the profit margin they maintain keeps them earning billions of dollars each year?
Higher wages mean people have more money to spend, which in turn means more products produced, which means that companies can expand and/or hire more people to make more products and the circle continues to spiral upwards.
Studies have shown that when wages are stagnant, as they have been for far too long, the economy is slow to grow. The recovery from the Great Recession could have gone a lot faster, but people simply have not had the money to purchase products other than those required to live.
Now, if only they paid more taxes than their associates do, this country would be in better shape.
Reagan’s welfare queen found! In Bentonville, Arkansas!
The f*&@ing liberals progressive and Democrats didn’t do this. Months of demonstrations, sit-ins and strikes did this.
What Effects Would Those Options Have?
The $10.10 option would have substantially larger effects on employment and income than the $9.00 option would—because more workers would see their wages rise; the change in their wages would be greater; and, CBO expects, employment would be more responsive to a minimum-wage increase that was larger and was subsequently adjusted for inflation. The net effect of either option on the federal budget would probably be small.
Effects of the $10.10 Option on Employment and Income
Once fully implemented in the second half of 2016, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3 percent, CBO projects (see the table below). As with any such estimates, however, the actual losses could be smaller or larger;
A Higher Wage is Possible
How Walmart Can Invest in Its Workforce
Without Costing Customers a Dime
The ones that really need help are the ones who voted for the Muslim-in-chief in the White House.
You got one more lie and insult before you will no longer have the privileged of posting your idiocy
Please be human and stop cussing and name calling, it show you want to lower who cuss at and call names, to justify what ever you say about them and do to them, please stop.
OH’ and your words will live on these pages and every word, every thought and intent of your heart will be held to account at your judgement and your judgement will be just you.
Praying for you
Jimmy needs to watch Gruber’s Supply and Demand lecture at the MIT archives. It’s pretty good and he explains the economics of the minimum wage among other things, and how labor is the “supply” that employers “demand”, and how wages, prices and the amount of workers all play into it. The government setting a floor on wages DOES have an effect, but even right-wing economists, who say it causes unemployment will say that the effect is very small. Dumb crap like “Muslim in Chief” might make your stay here a brief one, trust me… I have first hand knowledge of that! You can checkout MITs Gruber here…
(yes THAT Gruber…)
“Stock price is soaring after the announcement.” Actually, it has dropped since the announcement. Why is it that you people ignore facts?
Provide a link or are you just pulling this out your bagger ass?
So when the announcement was made it did rise
http://www.thestreet.mobi/story/13051532/1/walmart-wmt-stock-slipping-today-after-raising-hourly-wages-to-10.htmlrom the bagger ass
Agree with you ICH, as for WalMart, I never shop there, don’t like the quality of products, don’t like the treatment of employees. This company will need to improve a whole lot more before I’ll ever become a regular.
One of the WalMart women is listed among the richest in the world…..(9.00 per hour is very small potatoes considering.
But their stock went to a low of 82 dollars this month
So will your bagger ass blame this one day drop on the announcement when the stock market as a whole lost points today. Wait don’t answer it will make you think
So those of you on this post who disagree with raising wages for people, what do you suggest? That people make the same amount in 2015 that they made in 1995?
Never give a wage increase because it might decrease business? I think you are all sadistic, that’s what you are. How would you like to work for wages you earned 2 decades ago? It is called “progress” …hard for you to understand, I know.
Sorry Jimmy, people arent buying that crap anymore! They could pay even more without raising prices so I would say if they do raise prices as a result there is always COSTCO!! They actually appreciate their employees!!
You really need to stop watching FOX!
Sure, never give a wage increase if it would decrease business, or cut into profits. Wage increases are only warranted if production increases. And nobody who has a payroll is going to hire unproductive people. I’m not sure what employers think their going to get offering minimum wage, but it’s not gonna be a super-hero. Maybe Jimmy’s business is licking stamps or some other enterprise that can make money using zombies… (Like Walmart..) but if you want a productive worker, you have to pay them well or they’re gone. Call me a sadist, or greedy, but I have employed lots of people, and have never paid minimum. I have never paid less than ten, and that was a long time ago… It’s more like $120 a day for laborers where I’m at. Nobody worth his salt is going to work for 8 buc….
Wallmart got rich by paying such poor wages its employees needed food stamps to survive. They are an example of how the filty rich would be nothing without government coddling and handouts. Corporate welfare is a violation of the free market as are limited liability and bankruptcy protections for companies.
“Our merchants… complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising [prices] and lessening the sale of their goods. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high prices. They are silent with regard to the PERNICIOUS effects of their own gains.” — Adam Smith.
Smith would not be impressed with America’s billionaires who lack the intelligence to make it in the free market and are nothing more than corporate welfare queens hiding behind bankruptcy laws and limited liability rather than face the consequences of their own failings.
The writer said that Walmart stock was soaring. It isn’t. It fell with the rest of the market. I’m not blaming the announcement, I’m challenging the writer’s incorrect statement.
Now that’s more like it . But their stock did rise for a moment when the article was written. Before you get the wrong idea I think the stock market is a glorified casino game so I really don’t put much into it. But if you are a fiscal conservative wouldn’t you agree that companies should pay a living wage so taxpayers don’t have to subsidize them with food stamps, section 8, Medicaid and all the other programs that conservatives rail against?
Anybody who sites Smith, is gold in my book. (almost dropped my ashtray) Corporatism, or by it’s old names fascism or mercantilism, is the bane of the free-market. Wanna bitch about welfare or foodstamps? I would, but I’m a free-market guy, and corporate welfare is the real problem. While I like Smith or Bastiat, maybe Hazlet, I also read more than the average right-winger. I like Stiglitz..and Riech… while I think the Fed is the most egregious diversion away from free-market principles, Robert Reich has said many times that big money in politics is the main problem, which may also be the root of the problem with the Fed. Corporations and unions get the same protection under citizens united, but this notion that a corp is a person is a little shaky. Try suing a corp. The owner of that corp is personally protected. His personal assets have limited liability, but he’s still free to use them for political donations. He get’s his cake and eats it too.
5 likes today. Not to shabby for a republican. Maybe you think I’m a centrist republican…or a moderate..even a liberal.. Might be true. Conservatives where I usually hang don’t like me. I’m an Atheist, I don’t care who marries who and while I’m anti-abortion, I take a somewhat difficult to digest stance on abortion.. That it’s up to the one making the decision about what one does with her property. Her body being the ultimate property that a person has. Ask me about economics and you’ll get nothing but a Randian, far right response. Stay out of it, Mr Government… just like you need to stay out of promoting any religion, or what people do with their own property… like for example.. their own body..WHICH THEY OWN…
It still isn’t a living wage.
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