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Want A Job With Bonuses, 401(k) Match, Health Insurance, And More? Work For Walmart

 

Forbes

by: Jeffrey Dorfman – Contributor
originally posted on Forbes

December 11, 2014

Walmart is the employer that unions and many workers-rights advocates love to hate. Yet, when Walmart opens up new stores, they typically receive thousands of applicants competing for the few hundred jobs available. If Walmart is as horrible employer as often claimed, why do so many people want to work there? The answer is that the thousands who want to work at Walmart know more about working at Walmart than those continually protesting against it.

Many misconceptions about Walmart’s pay and benefits are based on data that people have inferred from partial information that is available publicly, not from a full and complete picture of their compensation package. (Full disclosure: I received funding from the National Retail Federation Foundation to study wages in the retail industry. As part of that study, I received data from Walmart on their pay practices. However, Walmart had no role in the writing of this column.)

Here are the facts about working at Walmart. The average hourly associate has a total compensation package of $14.50 per hour. Full-time hourly associates make an average of $12.94 per hour in wages. On top of the pay, hourly associates receive quarterly bonuses based on store performance that average $580 per year. Employees are eligible for health insurance and, if they choose to sign up for it, Walmart pays 75 percent of the premium cost.

Hourly associates all can contribute to a 401(k) retirement plan and Walmart matches employee contributions for the first 6 percent of each employee’s pay. Employees can also buy company stock and Walmart will match those purchases with shares equal to 15 percent of those purchased by the employees. Finally, employees all receive an employee discount of 10 percent off on purchases at Walmart.

All of these benefits together can add up to the equivalent of $4.50 per hour, meaning that an average full-time hourly associate could have total compensation of about $17.40 per hour or about $35,000 per year.

In addition to these figures, it is worth noting that annual raises for hourly associates have averaged more than 3 percent per year over the past eight years which includes the recent recession when raises for most workers have been few and far between. About 160,000 associates get promoted each year with 7,000 hourly associates entering management ranks annually. More than three-quarters of all Walmart store managers started as hourly associates.

Does all this make Walmart a worker’s paradise? That depends on how much you are making in your current job (if you have one) and what benefits come with that current job position. A significant number of workers make less than $15 per hour in total compensation, so there are lots of people who would see Walmart’s pay package as a step up. The enormous number of applications Walmart receives for each new store opening seems to indicate that is true: lots of people want to work at Walmart.

Given all this, why are so many people so deeply invested in fighting Walmart store openings and complaining about their pay policies? Several reasons seem to be in play. First, much of the protesting is organized by unions who are actually much more interested in gaining the opportunity to collect union dues from Walmart’s workers than they are in raising the wages of the people working at Walmart. Second, many people honestly complain about pay at Walmart because they have been misled about what Walmart really pays. They assume almost all the associates are making minimum wage or slightly above it. Hopefully, these people will read this column and adjust their behavior to reflect the truth about what Walmart pays.

In an economy where millions of people are still unemployed or underemployed, demonizing any employer is probably a bad idea. It gets much worse when the demonizing is based on lies and distortions. The data show that Walmart offers attractive pay and benefits to its employees. People who find those offers unsatisfactory should find another place to work rather than spending their energy complaining about jobs that hundreds of thousands of people find rewarding.

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Letter: More Support for Walmart

I’ve already had my “two cents” published in the Leader regarding my support for a Walmart in the Great Indoors vacant building, but after reading Tim Elliott’s letter in the Leader in support of the store (Jan. 1 “Walmart would fill a city need  ”), I want to show my support again. I totally agree with everything he said…. “we want a business there that will serve the people of Burbank, employ people and pay taxes to the city and the state. We want to have the choice of shopping and/or working at Walmart.”

I also can relate to the opinion stated by Lawrence Pane regarding street cleaning (Jan. 1 “Street cleaning not needed everywhere ”). We have signs posted on our side of the street and over the last many years, we have unfortunately received multiple parking tickets when we have forgotten to move our car/s. And so it seems unfair. Why are some streets posted with no parking on street cleaning days, while other streets are not?

I am curious to know if there is a way to have the signs removed from a street so we no longer have to move cars.

Kathy Neal
Burbank

Read more at the Burbank Leader

 

Wal-Mart Means Value and Good Jobs

Despite a recent court ruling delaying our proposed store in Burbank, Wal-Mart remains dedicated to providing Los Angeles County residents with convenient access to affordable goods, fresh groceries and quality jobs with meaningful career opportunities.

Judging by the positive response to our recently added Neighborhood Markets in Downtown Los Angeles and throughout the surrounding area, many residents are welcoming what we offer into their communities with open arms. We have received thousands of applications at nearly every store we’ve opened in the last year, many from people who have a job but were looking for a better one with good benefits and know what Wal-Mart has to offer. Our Downtown L.A. grocery store served more than 10,000 customers in its first few days alone – customers who know we offer great products at the best prices so they can spend their money on what they want, not just what they need.

Wal-Mart is having a positive impact in communities throughout Los Angeles, allowing residents to avoid traveling long distances and spend less gas money for access to affordable merchandise and groceries – while keeping sales tax dollars in their municipality’s coffers.

These stores are also sparking much-needed economic growth throughout the region, creating thousands of jobs with competitive wages and opportunities for career growth and advancement within our company.

In fact, our full-time average hourly wage in California is $13.03 – more than 62 percent above the state’s minimum wage – and we employ more than 81,000 statewide, the majority of whom are full-time. Moreover, nearly 75 percent of our store management teams here joined the company as hourly associates. In the last year alone, we received more than 15,000 applications for approximately 800 jobs in our new L.A. County stores.

We believe our Burbank Supercenter project will have a similarly positive effect – reviving a dormant retail property, providing jobs and keeping more tax dollars in the city. The Burbank store would create hundreds of temporary contract construction jobs and ultimately employ around 300 in good jobs with meaningful career opportunities.

Unfortunately, a small contingent of special interests is doing everything they can to prevent the Burbank community from enjoying these benefits. It is sad and a bit ironic that these opponents, who claim to be protecting their community and advocating for workers, would push so hard to prevent hundreds of good jobs and the corresponding economic growth from coming to their city.

Read more at the San Fernando Valley Business Journal

 

8,000 Job Applications

Our political leaders are often pulled in many directions. The exception is during a crisis. During the great recession and glacially moving recovery, we heard many elected officials declare a jobs crisis and the creation of jobs as the top priority.

Lately however, I have become concerned that our leaders at the local, state and federal levels have come to the conclusion that our economy is out of the woods and that other issues should take priority. Yes, locally there are exciting visions on the horizon such as the steady growth of Silicon Beach and continued construction downtown. But the need to maintain a crisis mentality about job creation came into sharp focus this past week when The Boeing Co. announced that C-17 production will come to a halt in 2015 and the unemployment rate in Los Angeles County increased to 10.1 from 9.9 percent.

If you have a job, this news may seem abstract, so let me illustrate this phenomenon in real terms. This past week I was honored to speak at the opening of the Chinatown Walmart Neighborhood Market. A store that brings fresh food and groceries to a community and empty storefront that has been waiting for more than 20 years. This market created 95 new jobs in Los Angeles and it’s hard to describe the joy on every face of the new associates. For all the political fighting it took to open this store, it should be noted that Walmart had 8,000 applications for those 95 jobs.

We must all make it clear to our elected leaders that the jobs crisis is not over. We still have 202,000 fewer jobs in L.A. County than we did at the start of the great recession. That’s thousands of families who know that job creation is the No. 1 priority in their lives.

Read more at Fox & Hound

 

30,000 and Counting

Two weeks ago, the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Downtown Los Angeles opened its doors and today I am happy to say that the store has already served more than 30,000 customers – customers who know we offer great products at low prices so they can spend their money on what they want, not just what they need. This outstanding community reception confirms what we have always said – residents in Downtown, Echo Park, Chinatown and other surrounding communities were in need of and wanted a place to shop for fresh, affordable and quality groceries.

In fact, the impact that the Walmart is already having in the community is apparent by the three new restaurants that have recently opened in the same building. This block, once dark after 20 years of vacancy, is now well lit, vibrant, and buzzing with economic and social activity. I invite you to the corner of Cesar Chavez Ave and Grand Ave to see for yourself.

Since announcing our Downtown L.A. Neighborhood market in January 2012, Walmart has opened 11 new stores in Los Angeles County bringing over 1,000 jobs. During that time, we received more than 15,000 applications for those jobs from individuals seeking a good pay, benefits and an opportunity to build a career with us. Our full-time average hourly wage in California is $13.03 per hour – more than $5.00 per hour over the state’s current minimum wage – and we employ more than 81,000 statewide. Moreover, nearly 75 percent of our store management teams here joined the company as hourly associates.

Don’t just take my word for it. I invite you to meet store manager, former hourly associate, Jackie Williams who recently took over as the store manager of the Baldwin Hills Walmart. LA FOCUS recently profiled Jackie and her view on striking the right balance between work and home. She’s doing great things in Baldwin Hills and we appreciate her energy and resolve.

 

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce: The Business Perspective

8,000 Job Applications

Our political leaders are often pulled in many directions. The exception is during a crisis. During the great recession and glacially moving recovery, we heard many elected officials declare a jobs crisis and the creation of jobs as the top priority.

Lately however, I have become concerned that our leaders at the local, state and federal levels have come to the conclusion that our economy is out of the woods and that other issues should take priority. Yes, locally there are exciting visions on the horizon such as the steady growth of Silicon Beach and continued construction downtown. But the need to maintain a crisis mentality about job creation came into sharp focus this past week when The Boeing Co. announced that C-17 production will come to a halt in 2015 and the unemployment rate in Los Angeles County increased to 10.1 from 9.9 percent.

If you have a job, this news may seem abstract, so let me illustrate this phenomenon in real terms. This past week I was honored to speak at the opening of the Chinatown Walmart Neighborhood Market. A store that brings fresh food and groceries to a community and empty storefront that has been waiting for more than 20 years. This market created 95 new jobs in Los Angeles and it’s hard to describe the joy on every face of the new associates. For all the political fighting it took to open this store, it should be noted that Walmart had 8,000 applications for those 95 jobs.

We must all make it clear to our elected leaders that the jobs crisis is not over. We still have 202,000 fewer jobs in L.A. County than we did at the start of the great recession. That’s thousands of families who know that job creation is the No. 1 priority in their lives.

And that’s The Business Perspective.

The Business Perspective is a weekly column by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, produced with the input of Public Policy staff.

 

Productos de ‘Homeboy’ se venderán en Walmart

Homeboy Industries, una organización sin fines de lucro con sede en Los Angeles, atiende hasta 1,000 ex pandilleros y ex reos – hombres y mujeres— en cualquier mes, ofreciéndoles servicios gratuitos, ofertas de empleo, y referencias laborales.

Muchos de los programas están financiados en parte por empresas sociales de la organización, incluyendo Homegirl Café & Catering, Homeboy Bakery y Homeboy Grocery.

Ayer Homeboy Industries anunció la expansión de una alianza de cinco años con Walmart. Los Angeles Neighborhood Market será la primera tienda Walmart que ofrecerá la línea de comestibles Homeboy con productos como tortillas Homeboy y salsas.

“Nuestra asociación a largo plazo con Walmart ha sido muy valiosa para poder asegurar de que podemos seguir apoyando y ofreciendo esperanza a los hombres y mujeres atrapados en ciclos de violencia y el encarcelamiento”, dijo Thomas Vozzo, CEO de Homeboy Industries. “Las tortilla y salsas fueron creados por nuestro chef fundador en el Homegirl Café “.

Read more at La Opinion

 

Homeboy Industries’ Chips and Salsa Available Soon at Walmart Downtown

Expect to find Homeboy Industries’ line of tortilla chips in the snack aisle at Walmart when the store opens in Grand Plaza sometime later this month. Three types of salsas (mango as well as mild and hot versions of pico de gallo), all recipes of chef Pati Zarate at Homegirl Café, will also be coming soon after the store’s grand opening. The Downtown location will be the first Walmart to carry Homeboy tortilla chips and salsa.
In terms of major chains, however, the retailer isn’t the first to offer the snack line. That distinction goes to Ralphs, which started to stock the line at locations in Southern California when it first launched in early 2011. The products were created “to make Homeboy Industries financially sustainable,” according to a press release sent by the organization around that time.

Thomas Vozzo, CEO of Homeboy Industries, indicates that the organization may eventually expand what’s offered at the retailer. “For now, we want to start with chips and salsa, but we also have salads and drinks that we’d want to introduce.”

Read more at LA Weekly Blogs

 

Chinatown Walmart Sign Goes Up, Store Opens Soon

CHINATOWN: Communities groups made a last ditch effort in April to block the Chinatown Walmart construction and, in case you were in any doubt, it doesn’t seem to have worked. A tipster sent us this picture of the new sign, which went up this week. Opponents argued variously that the store’s permits were improperly rushed, a decades-old environmental report was insufficient, and that Walmart is terrible. Last we heard, the store is due to open later this month.

Read more at Curbed Los Angeles

 

Walmart Associates Volunteer at Homeboy Industries Graduation

About 45 Los Angeles area Walmart Associates recently volunteered for a day of community service with Homeboy Industries and Learning Works during the June 18, 2013 graduation ceremonies for over 150 young adults who experienced and overcame severe challenges and previous gang affiliations to graduate with a GED. The Walmart volunteers did everything from passing out programs to helping the graduates fit into their cap and gowns, setting up chairs and refreshments and crowd control. Their work culminated with the Walmart associates forming two lines on either side of the graduation procession and applauding and cheering enthusiastically as the graduates marched between the associates on their way to receive their diplomas. All and all it was a rewarding day for the associates and the community.

Thank you Randy Wines for taking the initiative to assist Homeboy Industries with this event. The staffs at both Homeboy Industries and Learning Works are extremely grateful and credit Walmart associates for making this event the best they’ve had. They’ve extended an early invitation to again participate next year.