Over the course of the years, there has been a debate on raising the minimum wage. This is partly because many workers would benefit from the increase. However, many companies do not feel such a move would benefit them. They actually see it as a move that would negatively affect their outcome. But some companies believe that the lost gained in paying more will eventually offset itself with a lower turnover. This should also lead to a higher quality of productivity. Even companies that have been contrary to the idea is gradually changing its mind and moving towards increasing its minimum wage despite the backlash of its alleged practices.
In an article titled, Walmart Raising Minimum Wage to at least $9, it is reported that Walmart expects to increase its wages for its employees due to being pressured as a result of its labor practices. These labor practices have resulted in high turnover. They expect to increase its minimum wage to $9, but by next year it should increase by an additional dollar. This would bring the minimum wage to $10. This is the result of Walmart losing many of its employees to other companies like Cosco. These companies are offering competitive wages to help retain their employees. According to Hiroko Tabuchi, “The pay raise also signals that a tightening job market — with the unemployment rate now at 5.7 percent, compared with 9.8 percent five years ago, is leading to higher wages” (Tabuchi, 2015, pg. 1). There are many who also support the increase and are pushing for a minimum wage hike up to $15. But regardless of what advocates are saying, Walmart is finding it a better solution to also raise the minimum wage. This is in spite of the company having a negative effect on its work force.
Walmart over the years has been known to be criticized by many people, especially labor unions because of their policies which have also included that of racial and gender discrimination. Other forms of criticism have also centered on its security policies. But Walmart has denied any such acts. The company believes its success is due to their lower prices. But what about its employees? Walmart has since counter the criticism using various television commercials. Walmart has also faced accusations as a result of employees working in poor conditions. Some reports have even resorted to employees working off the clock and being denied over-time pay. In addition some employees were denied lunch breaks. This is only a gist of the charges against Walmart. So maybe Walmart’s efforts to raise the minimum wage is simply to heal some old wounds?
Walmart expects to raise its minimum wage despite having some of its employees who are paid more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 already earning over $9 an hour. This is a move that could encourage other companies such Home Depot to raise their wages as well. Tabuchi reports, “Target pays its cashiers $7.42 to $10.09, and Home Depot pays its sales associates $7.90 to $11.16, according to PayScale” (Tabuchi, 2015, pg. 1). Politics have also been influential in this effort to increase the minimum wage beyond the federal minimum.
Several states have already taken on the challenge of paying beyond the federal minimum wage. They understand the concept of raising wages will increase productivity and decrease turnover. However, the article states that President Obama wants to raise it higher, despite the fact that Congress disagrees. But wouldn’t it be fair if all retailers pay more?
This article pertains to me personally as I have family members who presently work or Walmart and have had to strive to live a decent life getting paid minimum wage. Retailers, like Walmart, who bring in millions of dollars yearly should take it into consider to pay their employees more. Minimum wage is barely enough to survive for many families like mine who have children and other responsibilities. I also have friends who work for Walmart who bring home an average of three hundred a week. She not only has to pay over fifty dollars for transportation to and from work, but pay on average seventy-five dollars a week for rent-subsidized. I sometimes wonder myself how do they make it. It sad to even think that some businesses believe that raising income will lead to job losses or even them having to resort to raising prices. This brings me to my reasoning behind not liking the article. Yes, Walmart moving towards raising its minimum wage, however it appears to be only for personal gain.
What about the employees who help them to gain their yearly profit? If it was not for the employees, Walmart would not be in existence. Many of these employees are reliable. The employees are there to assist the customers and provide excellent customer service. This article mainly focuses on Walmart making the decision to increase its minimum wage. Although it is great they have come to this conclusion, it seems that it is only after having to deal with employee turnover and other practices that are hurting the morale of its business. I was glad to read that other companies have also taken on the initiative to pay their employees more money. Hopefully over time, Walmart will gain a better appreciation of its employees from a financial perspective. It would not only in the best of the employees, but also in the best interest of those who shop there.
- Tabuchi, Hiroko. (2015). Walmart Raising Wage to at least $9. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/20/business/walmart-raising-wage-to-at-least-9-dollars.html?_r=1