Friday, November 22, 2013


Dear Readers, does this make you as mad as it does Madame L?

According to an article on the National Public Radio website:

"Wal-Mart is the largest employer of low-wage workers in the country, and they set the terms of this debate," says Judy Conti of the National Employment Law Project. "Don't add insult to injury and ask low-paid workers to help those even worse off."

The Wal-Mart food drive, and recent reports detailing a McDonald's website for employees that online at eBay for extra cash, come as the Senate — with President Obama's support — is poised to consider a bill that over three years would bump up the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour...

Calculations based on the Consumer Price Index suggest that if the federal minimum wage approved six years ago was adjusted for inflation, it would be $10.75 today — $3.50 more per hour than the actual minimum wage.

According to data compiled for the Senate labor committee, 19 states and Washington, D.C., have since approved minimum wages that exceed the federal mandate, with a high of $9.19 in Washington state. Ten of those states have minimum wage increases tied to inflation, and 30 states have voted to approve higher minimum wages for tipped workers.

And a found that three-quarters of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, would support a hypothetical hike in the minimum wage to $9.

But even the most ardent advocates of the legislation, introduced by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., initial sponsor of the 2007 bill, and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, acknowledge that its prospects are dim, given the atmosphere on Capitol Hill and sustained opposition by powerful business interests like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

For more about the actual wages and working of conditions of Walmart workers, please read this Washington Post article.

Mother Jones magazine points out:
According to [a] report, "A Higher Wage Is Possible," Walmart spends $7.6 billion a year buying back stock. Those purchases drive up the company's share price, further enriching the Walton family, which controls more than half of Walmart stock (and for that matter, more wealth than 42 percent of Americans combined.) If Walmart instead spent that money on wages, it could give each of its 1.3 million US employees a $5.83 per hour raise—enough to ensure that all of them are paid a wage equivalent to $25,000 a year for full-time work.
Even U.S. News and World Report writes that Walmart could afford to pay its workers a living wage if it wanted to.

What can you do about this?  Maybe stop shopping at Walmart. Certainly contact your Member of Congress to tell him/her your vote next time around will depend on what they do to help people like Walmart employees, ad the rest of us, too many of whom are living too close to the edge. You could also support Walmart employees who are planning a protest on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving).

Dear Readers, if you have any more suggestions for the rest of us to show our support for Walmart employees, please comment or write an email message to Madame L.

Thanks in advance,

Madame L

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