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Rally at a Walmart in North Reading, Massachusetts, Black Friday 2012.
Dave Jamieson looks at the question marks raised by Walmart's claims about its pay rates and threats to withdraw from Washington, DC, over a large retailer living wage bill:
According to Walmart, full-time store workers now earn $12.78 per hour on average, or 28 cents higher than the proposed D.C. mandate. That's an average wage -- quite different from a starting wage. But considering the Walmart footprint leans heavily suburban and rural, a $12.50 starting wage in one of the most expensive cities in the country wouldn't seem too out of whack with Walmart's self-reported wage data.

So what gives?

Walmart's $12.78 figure probably presents a misleading picture of what store workers actually make. As the company itself notes, the $12.78 calculation excludes part-time workers, and it includes department managers who are paid hourly and probably earn a good deal more than cashiers, stockers and sales associates.

It's hard to know how much this skews things, because Walmart doesn't disclose how much of its workforce is part-time or how much those workers actually earn.

Tell Washington, DC, Mayor Vincent Gray to sign the Large Retailer Accountability Act and give big box workers a living wage.

And more:

  • How charter entrepreneurs make millions with taxpayer dollars.
  • Republicans and the business lobby are still in full hissy fit mode against President Obama's National Labor Relations Board nominees. Don't you love the claim that they can't be expected to confirm President Obama's recess appointees because of the controversy that they ginned up against said recess appointments, when the recess appointments were only made in the first place because Republicans filibustered the nominations?
  • Somewhat counterintuitive, but good on them:
    Leaders of the union representing 17,000 nonsupervisory Border Patrol officers say they have serious concerns about how the Border Patrol can grow from 21,394 agents to 40,000 in only 10 years, as the [Senate immigration] bill requires, without sacrificing quality or efficiency.
  • What this stay-at-home dad says:
    Yes, taking care of kids is difficult and it is underappreciated work, especially if you’re also nurturing a career. But it’s not heroic. Because, if it’s heroic to forgo working so that you can take care of kids, then what if you have to work to provide for those kids? Is my wife un-heroic—maybe even a coward—for passing the kids to me so that she can return to work full time? What about me? Was I lacking in heroism before, when I was working long hours and she was with the kids?

    I’d like to humbly suggest that I’m not a bad or good person based on my position with regard to this particular question. I don’t feel guilty or proud of how much time I spend with my kids now, and I didn’t feel guilty or proud when Jen was on maternity leave. I wish that Jen also didn’t feel guilty or proud about this issue, but I know that as a woman she is inundated with judgments.  

    I get judgment, too, I suppose: I’m accosted by strangers who want to praise me because I’m with my kids at noon on Tuesday. But when I was working around the clock and Jen was with the kids, people applauded my ambition. I’m a hero either way, which is nice for me.

  • Michael Grabell's outstanding article about the temp industry won a Sidney award, and Lindsay Beyerstein interviews the author/winner.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Invisible People.

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