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The biggest threat to the Wal-Mart profit-through-poverty-wages model continues to hold on to a lead in the ballot count. That would be the initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15-an-hour in the city of SeaTac. It's almost a done deal -- though the fight won't end once the vote is certified.

As of the vote counting Monday, the pro vote is holding on to a 46-vote lead. That's a tad lower than the last count lead of 53 votes but still steady enough with very few votes left to count.Here are the numbers:

Yes: 2,995 (50.39%)

No: 2,949 (49.61%)

A recount is probably likely and there is also a lawsuit teed up by the we-prefer-slavery-to-decent-middle-class wages anti-initiative business crowd.

To reiterate the reasons we should be watching this so closely: The initial win, and the campaign around it, can give a great boost to the fight against poverty-level wages. It sets a standard that we need to aim for — a standard that claws back the hard work of people over the past four decades, and the robbery that has continued daily for four decades in the pathetic level of the minimum wage.

It should also serve as a counterpoint to the mediocre proposal by the Democratic Party leadership — in the House, Senate and White House — which is pushing a proposal to up the federal minimum wage t0 $10.10 which is really mediocre:

If someone works 52 weeks a year, 40 hours a week (if they are that “lucky” at a minimum wage job to get that many hours), that adds up to a bit over $21,000 a year.

With no pension. Not a single day off. And probably no decent health care.

That $21,000 is BELOW the federal poverty level for a family of four.

Remember this: the federal minimum wage should be $21.72-an-hour if we factor in productivity, which is a fancy way of saying how hard people have worked.

And this is where Wal-Mart trembles. As most of us know, Wal-Mart's entire business model is based on poverty -- low wages paid to its workers and low wage throughout the economy that force people to shop at Wal-Mart.

This campaign is a serious effort -- not a mediocre one -- at kick-starting a long process to puncture that business model.

Originally posted to Tasini on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:23 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Related: Wal-Mart Hosts Food Drive For EMPLOYEES (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, chimene, Another Grizzle, gffish

    A donation box in the store so customers will FEED WAL-MART WORKERS.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:34:15 PM PST

    •  donors not customers-- other Wal-Mart "associates" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      andontcallmeshirley, Brian B

      The food drive is in the employee-only area, and only for other Wal-Mart workers to contribute to. The original Business Insider report was updated to make that clear.
      That said, it is still truly outrageous that instead of paying a living wage, they are making an area available for some poverty waged workers to donate food to other poverty waged workers.
      So-- poverty wages from the distant upper echelons, permission for food drive from the the on site manager who is probably some kind of human being? I'm speculating.

      •  Naw, it's got nothing to do with the food . . . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gffish, oslyn7, DeeDee001

        there's a camera hidden in the ceiling of the employee lounge, and it records which employees put food in those bins for other employees.


        That act of altruism, humanity and generosity tells WalMart management exactly who is making more than they really need. People who can afford to throw food around like that go on the No Raise Ever list.

        You've got to run a really tight ship if you want the billions.

  •  It's been a profitable business model for them.... (9+ / 0-)

    ITA about why Wal-Mart doesn't want to see higher wages....higher wages would eat into their profits you say...w/ higher wages most customers would not be satisfied w/ the imported junk they sell at their stores.

    And this is where Wal-Mart trembles. As most of us know, Wal-Mart's entire business model is based on poverty -- low wages paid to its workers and low wage throughout the economy that force people to shop at Wal-Mart.
    COSTCO is not a union operation but that company has thrived by paying it's employees above union pay and giving them very good benefits. COSTCO also is not open late at night nor  open on most major holidays.

    COSTCO, I believe, has a business model that attracts medium to higher income people w/ deals (or perceived deals) as well as one of a kind products and outstanding customer service. So...because they pay their employees a decent wage...their employees can and do buy from their own store because they want to...not because they feel like they have to.

    I would also bet that COSTCO does not put out donation bins so that 'associates' will have food to eat for Thanksgiving.

    "I'd like to find your inner child and kick it's little ass." -Don Henley.

    by Olkate on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:41:22 PM PST

  •  You might want to correct this . . . . (6+ / 0-)
    Remember this: the federal minimum wage should be $21.72-an-hour if we factor in productivity, which is a fancy way of saying how hard people have worked.
    Productivity really have very little to do with how hard people work.

    For example 10 people with shovels can totally work their asses off all day and accomplish much less than a backhoe operator who sits on his or her ass all day, not really working hard at all.

  •  Higher min wage in Walmart's interest if (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Another Grizzle

    the increase does not specifically target them by not including smaller competitors - especially if done nationally.  This was not the case in DC..

    Smaller competitors typically have more labor hours per dollar of sales so the competition's costs go up faster than Walmart's.

    Walmart's customers being disproportionately lower income means their customers will have more money to spend.

    How active was Walmart in the SeaTac election?

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:19:53 PM PST

  •   In reality, 15 dollars is not something we are (0+ / 0-)

    going to get without starting at around 10 dollars and indexing it to inflation. then in the course of about 10-15 years we will eventually reach 15. ask for something high, then compromise for something in the middle. people will agree to a minimum wage increase, but likely not to 15. 10 is a reasonable goal then index it.

  •  thanks Tasini (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MorrellWI1983, oslyn7

    I am really looking forward to an update when it's all re-counted and officially won, fingers crossed for luck.
    MorellWI1983 may be right that $15 is not something that we'll be able to get, but I'm very glad that we're at least trying for it.
    Surely we have learned in the last few years that we have to open high and then fight like hell, and without significant wage  increase across the country the middle class is probably doomed.

    •  Let me be clear. I favor a much higher minimum (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angel d, Another Grizzle

      wage, and i believe it should be indexed to inflation. i personally am one of the millions who make minimum wage because Wisconsin does not index its minimum wage like say Oregon or Washington do, and has it at the fed minimum of 7.25. therefore any increase in the fed minimum will positively affect me, and i will spend any extra money i get. if we get 9 bucks or 10.10 plus inflation, i'll gladly take it.politics, as the saying goes, is the art of the possible. in our case we have to make 15 dollars 'possible' what may work in a progressive wealthy city like Seattle wont fly in the deep south.

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