Walmart, America’s largest employer, announced that it will stop providing health insurance for around 30,000 part time workers, in order to cut costs.
Soon after announcing the plans to cut their worker’s health insurance, Wal-Mart revealed their plans to work with DirectHealth.com to allow shoppers to compare coverage options and enroll in Medicare plans or the public exchange plans created under the Affordable Care Act.
In a corporate blog post with the Orwellian headline “Providing Quality Health Benefits for Our Associates,” a WM executive wrote, “We will continue to provide affordable health care to all eligible associates, including part-time, who work more than 30 hours. However, similar to other retailers like Target, Home Depot, Walgreens and Trader Joe’s, we will no longer be providing health benefits to part-time associates who work less than 30 hours. This will impact about 2% of our total U.S. workforce”
Imagine if you were a Walmart employee working 28 hours per week right now. Imagine what choices you face right now.
A couple of quick thoughts:
1. Employees tend to work fewer than 30 hours not because that is all they want to work, but because that is all the hours the company will give them, because companies do not want to allow workers to go full time.
2. Walmart has enough extra cash to raise employee salaries by 50% if it wanted to. Health insurance for 30,000 workers costs only a small percentage of this.
3. Four members of the Walton family, who inherited the Walmart fortune, are together worth more than $140 billion. If they were so inclined, these four people could pay the $500 million increase inWalmart’s employee health insurance costs (covering 100,000 new workers) for the next 280 years.
Strikes in 20 cities come as new report says top Walmart bosses received $104m in taxpayer subsidies over six years.
Working mothers at Walmart staged a series of strikes on Wednesday in protest over wages and conditions at the world’s largest retailer, as a new report claims the company’s top executives received $104m in taxpayer subsidies over a six-year period.
“If Walmart were to raise their wages to pay $25,000 a year for full-time work, we could lift as many as 1.5 million people out of poverty,” said Moira Bulloch, spokeswoman of the Union for Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), a backer of OUR Walmart. She said hundreds of workers nationwide had come out to protest.
What do you think about the fact that the six members of the Walton family (who own most of Walmart) have more wealth than the bottom 40% of our entire country? Or how Walmart paying a living wage to its employees would barely affect prices? We’re having this little thing called an #UpChat on Thursday, June 5, at 2 p.m. Eastern so you can join in the conversation. All you’ll need is a Twitter account. Use the hashtag #UpChat to add your voice!