I see that Walmart is fooling people again. On Nov. 29, the Portland Press Herald reported that Walmart workers are demonstrating for a fair wage ($15/hour). At today’s cost of living, $15 an hour doesn’t seem way out of line. Of course, if you work for minimum wage, that $15 per hour may seem like a lot. Most people making $15 an hour don’t get much public assistance as do those lower-wage earners at Walmart and other such race-to-the-bottom employers. In reality we are subsidizing Walmart through giving their underpaid workers enough to get by on.

To add insult, Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg stated that Walmart employees are already averaging $12.94 per hour. This is most deceptive. For instance: If a Walmart store has 100 employees and pays them according to the following pay schedule: One employee (general manager), $32 per hour, eight department heads at $20/hour each, 26 mid-level supervisors at 15/hour each, 30 seniority workers at $13 each and 35 entry-level workers at $9/hour each, that leaves an average hourly wage for the 100 employees of $12.87 per hour. You can now see how the extremely high wages of the top one-third of the store’s employees are skewing the numbers of bottom two-thirds of the employee base. Even the middle one-third of the employees is earning less than the stated average.

In the future, I hope that reporters ask these deceitful employers to give a more thorough breakdown of their method on how their average wage was calculated.

Of course some Walmart manager will say that my figures are not correct. I would agree, as I do not have access to their payroll records. I can only estimate. They can fix that by just making all of their payroll records locally public.

Peter P. Sirois

Madison


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