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  1. #1
    Marie is offline Daughter, if you don't remember us...who will?
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    Wal-Mart Memo Suggests Ways to Cut Employee Benefit Costs

    Article

    An internal memo sent to Wal-Mart's board of directors proposes numerous ways to hold down spending on health care and other benefits while seeking to minimize damage to the retailer's reputation. Among the recommendations are hiring more part-time workers and discouraging unhealthy people from working at Wal-Mart.

    In the memorandum, M. Susan Chambers, Wal-Mart's executive vice president for benefits, also recommends reducing 401(k) contributions and wooing younger, and presumably healthier, workers by (continiued)

  2. #2
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    There was a Wal-Mart store in Quebec that was "strongarmed" into not forming a Union.

    With the help of others, a Union was formed.

    Wal-Mart immediately shut down the store....

    I don't shop at Wal-Mart specifically because of wage and labour abuses.

    Also I experienced "poor" customer satisifaction when I shopped there about 10 years ago, just once. Never set foot in a Wal-Mart again.

    I don't need to save money on the backs of people who are not paid a decent wage and who are subjected to the fiscal "policies" of Wal-Mart.

    No way

  3. #3
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    I'm happy to say that I worked with other members of my suburban community to form a group to keep Wal-Mart from coming smack dab in the middle of us with a Superstore. It would have been only hundreds of feet from a neighborhood.

    When I started looking up all the pros and cons of Wal-mart and how many other communities have gone through the same battle, I was amazed. Happily, we did defeat it but only one person on the City Council was supporting us; they only saw the tax $$$.

    The Wal-mart of today is not the same one that the founder Mr. Walton envisioned.

  4. #4
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    I love Walmart and am glad that we FINALLY were able to get one in the radical town in which we live. Walmart as well as ALL companies try to find ways to contain benefit expenses. The cost of healthcare is driving many businesses into the ground.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanandjim
    I love Walmart and am glad that we FINALLY were able to get one in the radical town in which we live. Walmart as well as ALL companies try to find ways to contain benefit expenses. The cost of healthcare is driving many businesses into the ground.
    We are all under great pressure from rising healthcare costs, so Walmart is the rule, rather than the exception. How many unions at this time are fighting for increased wages, with the individual worker having to bear a greater share of his/her healthcare cost, as one of the main reasons for their demands. Until a solution is found that will reduce healthcare costs at their source, rather than allowing it to continue to increase, it is a problem we are all faced with. The people who save money by shopping at Walmart aren't complaining about Walmart, the people who are complaining about a Walmart coming to their area, are generally those people who can afford not to shop at Walmart, i.e., business owners who see Walmart as a threat to their continued affluency, for one.

  6. #6
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    nanandjim .... you make a good point. Whether you like or dislike Wal-Mart, the memo is dealing with an issue that a lot of companies are having to deal with. Healthcare in the US is unaffordable. Period. Look the woes General Motors is facing and they have historically been known to pay their workers very well (they are union, of course) and give good benefits. But, it's becoming unaffordable for them to maintain that.

    I think the health care profession needs to be taken in hand (including pharmacueticals) and we as shoppers need to think a little harder when we're in the store filling our carts with products from Mexico and China and wherever else we can get it cheap!!

  7. #7
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    It's not just Walmart, it's all the stores. Thanks to the half-a$$ed law that the government passed, 15 years or so ago, saying that employers had to offer benefits to all full-time employees, all the jobs got cut to part-time. I worked for KMart years ago - full time job, great paid health insurance, retirement, profit sharing. The wages weren't much but the benefits made up for it. That was back when many people made working at KMart a career. Then the government stepped in and "fixed" things. People with 20 years seniority were suddenly out on their tails.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marthatex
    I'm happy to say that I worked with other members of my suburban community to form a group to keep Wal-Mart from coming smack dab in the middle of us with a Superstore. It would have been only hundreds of feet from a neighborhood.

    When I started looking up all the pros and cons of Wal-mart and how many other communities have gone through the same battle, I was amazed. Happily, we did defeat it but only one person on the City Council was supporting us; they only saw the tax $$$.

    The Wal-mart of today is not the same one that the founder Mr. Walton envisioned.
    Exactly! The heirs of Sam Walton have bastardized the whole concept. I am sure he is rolling over in his grave.

  9. #9
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    Benefits including health care are a growing problems for all businesses, including small businesses.

    Wal-mart's CEO, H. Lee Scott,Jr. made $17,543,739 in total compensation last year - nearly twice the average of $9.6 million for leading Ceo's as a whole, according to Business Week.

    The firm's full-time U.S. employees earn on average $9.68 per hour. (that doesn't include part-time). The national average is $15.35 for production and non-supervisory workers.

    "As a result of Wal-Mart's low wages, many employees must rely on government healthcare, food, housing and other aid."

    In China, the subcontractors make .17 per hour.

    Target's CEO made 7.9 million.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mabel
    It's not just Walmart, it's all the stores. Thanks to the half-a$$ed law that the government passed, 15 years or so ago, saying that employers had to offer benefits to all full-time employees, all the jobs got cut to part-time. I worked for KMart years ago - full time job, great paid health insurance, retirement, profit sharing. The wages weren't much but the benefits made up for it. That was back when many people made working at KMart a career. Then the government stepped in and "fixed" things. People with 20 years seniority were suddenly out on their tails.
    I had a friend that was one of the bosses at K-Mart in Baytown. She said the pay was great and it was a good job. But, as you said, things eventually went into the toilet...and they didn't even want to provide the toilet paper...LOL! However, it is not just the stores that are doing this. Exxon and Mobil merged and things went to hell there as well. My husband retired early (56) because they kept changing all the retirement benefits. Each year they became worse, so he retired before things went totally to hell. It is all about the almighty dollar. I realize all businesses need to turn a profit, however most are getting too greedy and employees are considered a throw away commodity. And now, the companies wonder why the employees are nonproductive, absenteeism is high, and theft is up. This all stems from workers having no loyalty to their companies. Well, the road runs both ways! When companies start to treat their workers like humans, then I feel certain workers will start to act like humans. With all their fancy analysis of problems within their companies, it slays me to think that they can't figure out the simplest one......Just act like people matter. Pretty simple to discover isn't it? OH...but wait....they are too busy trying to screw the employees, so I guess they don't have too much time to see the noses on their greedy faces.
    OK...stepping away from the soapbox now.


  11. #11
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    Health insurance companies are the new evil IMO. They make it hard for physicians and patients, as well as business owners who provide or offer insurance for their employees. My husband was a small business owner who had about 11 employees and he eventually had to do away with providing health insurance. It was too expensive and it was either let it go or let some people go. He did compensate them salary wise, so they could go out and get their own but it wasn't a whole lot. He and I went without insurance for about 2 years, he closed that business and went to work for a big company and we got group coverage. We felt like we'd won the lottery. And as bad as it is now, I think it will get much worse before it ever gets better.

    I despise Wal-Mart but I agree with the others who said that WM is no different than any other company trying to save on health insurance costs.

    I have no idea as to how to improve it but something has to be done about this health care/insurance crisis.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shopper
    Health insurance companies are the new evil IMO. They make it hard for physicians and patients, as well as business owners who provide or offer insurance for their employees. My husband was a small business owner who had about 11 employees and he eventually had to do away with providing health insurance. It was too expensive and it was either let it go or let some people go. He did compensate them salary wise, so they could go out and get their own but it wasn't a whole lot. He and I went without insurance for about 2 years, he closed that business and went to work for a big company and we got group coverage. We felt like we'd won the lottery. And as bad as it is now, I think it will get much worse before it ever gets better.

    I despise Wal-Mart but I agree with the others who said that WM is no different than any other company trying to save on health insurance costs.

    I have no idea as to how to improve it but something has to be done about this health care/insurance crisis.
    So why do we not study and adopt what works in other countries?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakini
    So why do we not study and adopt what works in other countries?
    Good question. I'm not much into politics but I always hear about politicians being in the back pockets of the insurance companies. My hunch is that no one in the insurance industry is complaining about the way things are and they throw money at politicians to keep out of their business and to allow things to continue as they are.

    I find it very sad that in the United States some people work solely for health care coverage, and those are the lucky ones. A lot of people can't get coverage for one reason or another; either their employer doesn't/can't offer it or they can't get good coverage on their own because it's too expensive.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakini
    So why do we not study and adopt what works in other countries?
    Dakini for President!

  15. #15
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    Ya know, I know many people find work and like the savings that a WalMart in a town brings. Heck, I shop at Target and really cannot say that it probably is much better. However, you certainly do not hear of the problems at the other huge stores that you hear about at Wal Mart. But, this is what I do find wrong...

    Strong arming their way into a community. In our locale, a SuperStore was planned in an area where the road surrounding it would be 2 lane country roads. The company said they would share in expenses of changing the roads to 3 lanes (still not big enough) by condeming the surrounding homes on the outskirts of the exisisting neighborhood in order to widen. We (the community) said no, you are not worth it. They came back again. And again.
    And again and again. Right now I honestly do not know if they are still wanting to build or not but the message should be clear, we don't want them here.

    Gotta say, I have only been in like 2 Walmarts, and each time it was messy and dirty. If I am out of town I will travel way out of my way to go to any other store BUT Walmart.

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