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.read more
A new Walmart Neighborhood Market is set to open at 9055 SW Murray Boulevard, likely in spring 2014.
The Neighborhood Market, which is a midsized grocery store rather than a Walmart supercenter, is moving into a former Haggen store. Walmart Stores Inc. purchased the site in 2011.
The 61,000-square-foot store will be Walmart’s largest Neighborhood Market in Beaverton. There are two others, one on Apple Way that opened in early 2013 andanother on Cornell Road that opened in the summer of 2012.
The Delta Park Walmart is holding a kind of second grand-opening today in North Portland. There will be no pomp and circumstance of discounts and dry goods at this one. Instead, the major retailer will talk about the history of the Delta Park area and will dedicate a series of murals about the Vanport flood. State Senator Jackie Winters, who lived in Vanport, will join neighborhood representatives there at 3 p.m. If you want to attend, RSVP at WalmartOregon@gmail.com.
The Daily Beast has christened Portland vintage furniture purveyor Grant Chisholm “The Hipster Fred Phelps.” Chisholm had a heavy hand in designing The Colony in St. Johns, outfitting its apartments in Pendleton blankets, modern furniture and a host of rustic industrial pieces fit for Tumblr. When he’s not selling the ultimate in Portland vintage wares, The Daily Beast reports, he’s working as a street preacher, railing against strip clubs, “homosex”, Catholics, football “and probably most Portland residents.”
Freshly planted vegetation on the new Hayden Meadows Walmart store’s 92,000-square-foot roof is an experiment.
The 40,000-square-foot green roof, billed as the largest in Portland, is divided into three sections to compare different soil depths. The remaining 52,000-square-foot traditional white membrane roof serves as the control.
It’s a rare opportunity to back up the rainwater absorption and evaporative cooling benefits of green roofs with data from a real world application, said David Sailor, director of Portland State University’s Green Building Research Laboratory. PSU received a $133,000 grant from Walmart to spend the next two years tracking and comparing data collected by a rooftop weather station and sensors placed throughout the North Portland store’s roof.
The green roof on the new Walmart opening at Portland’s North Hayden Meadows is the largest in the city and the only roof like it that Walmart has on the West Coast.
Nearly half of the 92,000-square-foot roof is green, covered in vegetation and sediment to manage storm water. It will also help cool the store and convert carbon monoxide to oxygen.
Portland State University will use the roof for a classroom as part of its Green Building Research Lab. For two years students will study the roof’s eco-impact using remote sensors and a weather station.
Community Outreach Inc. announced that the organization received a $35,000 grant this week from the Walmart Foundation.
Kari Whitacre, the executive director at COI, said the grant will help to pay for basic hygiene supplies and food, case management, day care expenses and transitional living classes to help families at the shelter at 865 N.W. Reiman Ave. Demand for such service is on the increase, especially for women, children and families, she said.
In July 2012, the nonprofit that started in 1971 restructured its dorms to accommodate 11 instead of 7 families. The expanded spaces have been steadily occupied ever since.
Walmart Neighborhood Market brings smaller format, local fresh food favorites and employment opportunities to the community
• New Walmart Neighborhood Market located at 2730 Gateway St.
• Up to 95 jobs created by Springfield Walmart Neighborhood Market
• Store open from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week
Walmart will open the first Lane County Walmart Neighborhood Market on Wednesday, Sept. 18, after a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m. The new store, approximately one-fifth the size of a Walmart Supercenter, is located at 2730 Gateway St. just east of Interstate 5 and is open from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week. The new store will provide local customers with a new, convenient option for their grocery shopping needs, including fresh produce and pharmacy services.
“We’re excited to welcome a Walmart Neighborhood Market to the Gateway area,” said Springfield Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dan Egan. “Not only is Walmart bringing nearly 100 new jobs to the Springfield community and enhancing our vibrant Gateway retail center, it is meeting a crucial need by providing access to fresh, affordable and local groceries for a number of neighborhoods that have gone too long without access to a grocery store.”
Smaller Store, More Convenience
The Walmart Neighborhood Market format offers quick and convenient shopping, with a full grocery department, including organic and natural selections. The store features prepared food options, fresh-baked breads, self-serve deli and a bakery. The Springfield store is also tailored to the community, offering local favorites, including locally grown produce.
The pharmacy offers a full range of products and services. Pharmacy team members can answer product and prescription questions and customers can ask about health and wellness solutions.
The grand-opening celebration includes presentations of grants from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to local community groups.
New Store, New Jobs
The new store employs up to 95 full- and part-time associates. The first Walmart Neighborhood Market opened in 1998, and today there are approximately 250 Walmart Neighborhood Market stores nationwide.
Store manager Cooper Osima began his Walmart career in 2004 as an hourly associate unloading trucks.
“We are excited to show our commitment to Springfield by helping customers save money and live better,” said Osima.
A Big Family Welcome
Walmart is happy to be part of the Springfield community and is ready to celebrate with residents on Saturday, Sept. 21. A Big Family Welcome will give customers a chance to meet Osima and enjoy fun family activities such as face painting, cupcake decorating and free food samples while supplies last. Join the celebration from noon to 3 p.m.
Join the Conversation
Walmart invites Springfield shoppers to share their in-store experience on Facebook and Twitter by using #MyNewWalmart. Visit the My Local Walmart Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/walmart4178. Fans of the local page can receive information about rollbacks, in-store events, meal solutions and more.
Oak Grove’s Walmart moved rapidly toward completion as dozens of new workers stocked shelves in preparation for a grand opening.
Walmart’s “neighborhood markets” are typically 42,000 square feet, but this approximately 63,000-square-foot store, at 15600 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd., will include groceries, a deli, a large produce section and an assortment of general merchandise.
Grading has begun on what is now known as Parkway Village at Sherwood, a future shopping complex that will include a 145,000-square-foot Walmart superstore. Both grading and erosion control permits were recently pulled, according to city officials. However, no building permits have been issued.
Over the last several weeks, an army of earthmovers and other heavy equipment descended on the site along Langer Farms Parkway.
A Walmart store has been approved in Warrenton. Again.
The Warrenton City Commission approved a revised site design review plan Tuesday night after a public hearing. The application had been remanded back to the city by Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA).
The vote was 4-0 with Mark Kujala, Tom Dyer, Dick Hellberg and Mark Baldwin in favor. The fifth commissioner, Henry Balensifer, was absent.